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Republican debate: Candidates clash on policy, records

Last Updated Feb 13, 2016 11:23 PM EST

10:55 p.m. Some excerpts from the closing statements.

Kasich: "I'm going to send a lot of power, money and influence back to where we all live...The lord made all of us special. The lord wants us to be connected. I believe we're part of a very big mosaic and I'll send the power back and whoever gets elected president here hopefully we'll take care of the issue of jobs and wages and Social Security and the border but the spirit of America rests in all of us, it's in our guts, its taking care of our children, it's taking care of the lady next door who just lost her husband, it's fixing the schools where we live and telling kids to stay off of drugs. You see I think what the lord wants is for us to engage."

Carson: "We the people can stop that decline starting right here in South Carolina. If all the people who say, 'I love Ben Carson and his policies but he can't win' vote for me, not only can we win but we can turn this thing around. We have this manipulation by the political class and by the media telling us who we're supposed to pick and how we're supposed to live. We the people are the only people who determine that and if you elect me as your next president I promise you that you that you will get somebody who is accountable to everybody and beholden to no one."

Bush:"The next president's going to be confronted with an unforeseen challenge. That's almost certain. It could be a pandemic, a major national disaster or an attack o our country. The question for South Carolinians and Americans is who do you want to have sitting behind the big desk in the Oval Office? It's not the things that we're talking about today, it's the great challenge that may happen..I believe I will have a steady hand as president of the United States."

Rubio: "This a difficult time in our country. Our economy is flat, it's not creating the jobs it once did, people struggle living paycheck to paycheck. Our culture's in trouble. Wrong is now considered right and right is considered wrong and all the things that once held our families together are now under constant assault and around the world America's reputation's in decline. Our allies don't trust us, our adversaries don't fear us...these are difficult times but 2016 an be a turning point. That's why I'm running for president."

Cruz: "South Carolina you have a critical choice to make. Our country literally hangs in the balance. Do you want another Washington dealmaker who will do business as usual, cut deals with the Democrats, grow government, grow debt and give up our fundamental liberties or do you want a conservative, a proven conservative who will stand and fight with you each and every day?...If we get this wrong, if we nominate the wrong candidate, the Second Amendment, life, marriage, religious liberty, every one of those hangs in the balance."

Trump: "Politicians are all talk, no action. You've seen where they've taken you to. We owe 19 trillion dollars right now it's going to be increased with that horrible budget from a month ago that was just approved by politicians. We need a change, we need a very big change, we're going to make our country great again."

10:41 p.m. Bush and Trump clash again as Bush brings up Trump's record of his businesses filing for bankruptcy.

"Just like the biggest business leaders in this country, I've used the laws of the land...I use the laws to my benefit," he said. Then he accused Bush of being a bad governor because he "put so much debt on Florida."

In his response, Bush said, "We led the nation in job growth seven out of eight years. When I left there were 9 billion dollars of reserves...during my time, we were one of two states to go to triple-A bond rating. We didn't go bankrupt like Trump did."

10:37 p.m. Trump is asked if he has ever listened to someone who has told him he was wrong.

"My wife tells me I'm wrong all the time and I listen," he said. But he demurs when asked for a specific topic.

Then he added, "I do listen to experts. I listen to top, top people."

"Sometimes, they're wrong," he said.

When Dickerson questioned his use of profanity, Trump said sometimes, "in order to really highlight something," he will use some profanity. But he also said he is sometimes accused of using foul language on the campaign trail even though he hasn't.

10:27 p.m. Trump and Cruz tussle next after Cruz criticizes Trump for supporting taxpayer-funded abortion.

"You are the single biggest liar. You probably are worse than Jeb Bush," Trump shouted. He called Cruz a "nasty guy" and criticized Cruz for telling Iowans that Carson was dropping out of the race during the caucus.

Cruz fired back."It is fairly remarkable to see Donald defending Ben after he called him pathological and compared him to a child molester. Both of which were offensive and wrong," he said. "You notice that Donald didn't disagree with the substance that he supports tax payer funding for Planned Parenthood. And Donald has this weird pattern of when you point to his record, he screams 'liar, liar.'"

When he noted that Trump once said Planned Parenthood did "wonderful things," Trump said that's true -- on everything except abortion.

As they continue shouting over each other, Dickerson admonished, "Gentlemen, I'm going to turn this car around!"

10:17 p.m. Garrett asked Trump about his promise earlier this week to levy a tax on a company like Ford if they move their factories to Mexico.

"Where do you derive that power?" Garrett asked. "Do you see the presidency as a perch from which you can cajole or threaten private industry?"

"I would build consensus with Congress and Congress would agree with me," he said. "I don't like the idea of using executive orders like our president."

10:15 p.m.Carson was asked about fines for financial companies who contributed to the mortgage crisis: Should financial executives be held responsible? And are fines an effective way to deter companies from taking too much risk?

"We've got all these regulators and all they're doing is running around looking for people to fine," he said. "I think what we really need to do is start trimming the regulatory agencies rather than going after the people who are trying to increase the viability, economic viability of our society."

While he said that there are sometimes bad actors, "I'm not sure that the way to solve that problem is by increasing all the regulatory burden."

10:11 p.m.Bush said he feels like he has to "get into his inner Chris Christie" and repeats one of Christie's arguments from previous debates - that he gets tired of listening to senators argue about "two arcane plans that didn't pass."

Bush then said that people who come to the U.S. are just trying to provide for their families, "but that doesn't mean it's right."

"They're not all rapists as you-know-who said," he added, nodding toward Trump. "We should show a little more respect for the fact that they're struggling."

Trump then took credit for raising the issue of illegal immigration when he ran for president.

"The weakest person on this stage by far on illegal immigration is Jeb Bush," he said. "He is so weak on illegal immigration it's laughable."

"You want to talk about weakness? It's weak to denigrate women. It's weak to denigrate Hispanics," Bush said.

Trump responded by saying that earlier in the week Bush said he would take down his pants and moon people.

10:08 p.m. Cruz is asked whether he would use the database of addresses provided by young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally when they applied for a reprieve from deportation to deport young people. He ducked the question and instead criticized Rubio for his role in crafting the Senate immigration reform bill.

Rubio begins rehashing an old debate between the two, pointing out that Cruz spoke in favor of legalization during the Senate debate. "He either wasn't telling the truth then or isn't telling the truth now."

"Marco right now supports citizenship for 12 million people here illegally. I oppose citizenship," Cruz said. "Marco has a long record when it comes to amnesty. In Florida, as speaker of the House, he supported in-state tuition for illegal immigrants." He also said that Rubio said he would not rescind Obama's executive action on immigration during a Spanish-language interview on Univision.

"I don't know how he knows what I said on Univision because he doesn't speak Spanish," Rubio said.

Then Cruz said a few words to him in Spanish.

10:03 p.m. Trump is asked about the RNC's Spanish-language response to the State of the Union address, where Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Florida, said the GOP must offer "a permanent and humane solution to those who live in the shadows."

"What does that mean to you?" Dickerson asked.

"I want everybody taken care of but we have to take care of our people in this country," Trump said.

9:55 p.m. Bush said his plan to force hedge fund managers to pay normal income tax rather than the lower capital gains tax will not get in the way of economic growth. He also said the special capital gains rate is "not appropriate" for them.

"They should be paying ordinary income, that's their business, they're grateful to be able to make a lot of money," he said. "It's not the end of the world that private equity and hedge fund folks that are right now getting capital gains treatment pay ordinary [taxes] like everybody here in this room."

9:52 p.m. Kasich defends his decision to expand Medicaid in Ohio and argued that it saves money to treat people for problems like drug addiction rather than letting them to prison or lives on the streets.

Bush criticizes that decision while praising Kasich's motives.

"Expanding Obamacare is what we're talking about and Obamacare's expansion, even though the federal government is paying for the great majority of it, is creating more debt on the backs of our children and grandchildren," he said.

9:48 p.m. Cruz is asked to defend his business flat tax, which is like a value-added tax (VAT) used across Europe. Garrett points out that conservatives have shied away from such a tax because it is seen as fueling government spending.

"The business flat tax that is in my tax plan is not a VAT. A VAT in Europe is a sales tax," he said. He aruged his business flat tax is "A tax of 16 percent opposed fairly and evenly across the board on all businesses. He said it would also be done in conjunction with abolishing corporate income taxes, taxes associated with the Affordable Care Act, payroll taxes and the estate tax.

9:43 p.m. Trump is asked whether he is promising more than he can deliver, given that an analysis of his economic plan by the Center for a Responsible Federal Budget has said his plan would cost more than 12 to 15 trillion and would require economic growth of 7.7 to 9 percent.

"I'm going to save Social Security, I'm going to bring jobs back from China" he said, and also talked about bringing back back money overseas.

Pressed over how he would actually pay Social Security, Trump said. "You have tremendous waste, fraud and abuse. That we're taking care of." He also claimed there are "thousands and thousands of people" over 106 years old receiving Social Security who don't exist.

9:38 p.m. Rubio also defended former President Bush, blaming former President Clinton for the 9/11 attacks by not taking out al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in the 1990s.

9:37 p.m. Bush and Trump tussle again after Trump was asked about his 2008 comments that he thinks it "would have been a wonderful thing" if then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had tried to impeach former President George W. Bush.

"Obviously the war in Iraq was a big, fat mistake," Trump said of his support for President Bush and the war in Iraq. Pressed on the question of impeachment, he seemed to stumble, saying "You do...whatever you want."

The Bush cut in.

"I'm sick and tired of Barack Obama blaming my brother for all of the problems that he's had," Bush said. "I could care less about the insults that Donald Trump gives to me. It's blood sport for him...but I am sick and tired of him going after my family. My dad is the greatest man alive in my mind. While Donald Trump was building a reality TV show my brother was building a security apparatus to keep us safe and I'm proud of what he did."

During Bush's rebuttal, Trump said, "The World Trade Center came down during your brother's reign."

Rubio weighed in and said he thanked God it was former President Bush in the White House during 9/11 and not Al Gore.

9:31 p.m. On the use of ground forces, to fight ISIS, Cruz said, "If it is required to use special forces to defeat ISIS we should use them," but added the U.S. should start by using its "overwhelming" air advantage.

"We're not using the tools we have," he said.

9:28 p.m. The first inter-candidate clash is between Bush and Trump as Trump says, "Jeb is so wrong" on how he would handle Russian presence in Syria.

"You cant fight two wars at the same time," Trump said.

Jeb pushed back.

"The very basic fact is that Vladimir Putin is not going to be an ally of the Untied States. The whole world knows this...they're attacking the troops that we're supporting," he said. He called for a Sunni-led coalition to fight ISIS.

Trump cut him off.

"We're supporting troops that we don't even know who they are," he said.

But Bush fired back, "This is a guy who gets his foreign policy from the shows. This is a guy who thinks Hillary Clinton was a great negotiator in Iran," he said.

9:23 p.m. What did Kasich mean when he said he wanted to punch Russia in the nose?

"We have to make it clear to Russia what we expect. We don't have to declare an enemy, rattle a sword or threaten," he said. "We will arm the folks in Ukraine who are fighting for their freedom. They deserve it. There will be no ifs ands or buts about it."

He also said the U.S. should consider attacks on NATO countries or Finland or Sweden an attack on the U.S.

Bush, talking about Russia, said it is "ludicrous" to consider them a partner in the fight against ISIS.

9:20 p.m. Rubio is asked what in his past he can point to as evidence to voters that he is ready to handle a crisis in office. He points to his vote against President Obama's plan to use military force against Syrian dictator Bashar Assad.;

"One of the hardest decisions you'll ever make in Congress is when you are asked to authorize the use of force in a conflict," he said.

9:16 p.m. Dickerson and Cruz briefly tussle when Dickerson asks Cruz what the cutoff should be for a president selecting a justice in an election year.

"We have 80 years of precedent of not confirming Supreme Court justices in an election year," Cruz said.

Dickerson noted that Justice Kennedy was confirmed in 1988, the last year of Reagan's presidency.

9:12 p.m. Would Bush apply a litmus test for a Supreme Court nominee?

"Not on specific issues, not at all," he said. He said the next president should nominate someone with a "proven record in the judiciary" as well as a proven conservative record.

He said the president has a right to nominate a justice, but said Mr. Obama would "not have a consensus pick."

9:11 p.m. Rubio says he has never supported changing Senate rules to allow a Supreme Court justice to be nominated with a simple majority in the Senate.

9:07 p.m. The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia just hours ago looms large over the start of hte debate. Moderator John Dickerson asks Trump to consider himself in President Obama's shoes: If he were president, wouldn't it be an "abdication to conservatives" if he did not nominate someone -- as Trump has called on Obama to do?

"If I were president now I would certainly want to try to nominate a justice," Trump said. But he added, "I think it's up to [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell and everybody else to stop it, it's called delay, delay, delay."

McConnell has said the Senate should wait for the next president to nominate someone.

Kasich said he wished the president would consider not nominating someone, or only nominating a person who has near-universal support.

8:45 p.m. The six remaining Republican presidential candidates are about to take the stage in Greenville, South Carolina for their first debate since this week's New Hampshire primaries.

This is last debate before South Carolina's Republican primary on Feb. 20. It begins at 9 p.m. and ends at 11 p.m. ET.

The candidates who are participating include businessman Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former neurosurgeon Ben Carson, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Since the New Hampshire primaries, former tech executive Carly Fiorina, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore have withdrawn from the race.

"Face the Nation" host and CBS News political director John Dickerson is serving as the main moderator for the debate. He will be joined by two panelists: CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett and The Wall Street Journal's Kimberly Strassel.

CBS News will offer multi-platform coverage of the debate, with extensive coverage before, during, and after the debate via CBSN, the network's 24/7 digital streaming news service.

CBSN is also offering a special 9:00 PM broadcast of the debate that will include enhanced graphics to showcase real-time Google Trends data and a curated Twitter stream.

To catch a preview of Saturday's debate stage, take a look at this 360-degree view of the stage, taken from Donald Trump's center podium.

 

  • Rebecca Kaplan

    Rebecca Kaplan is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.