Live

Watch CBSN Live

Transcript: Ninth Republican debate, South Carolina 2016

CBS News Republican debate

Sat. Feb. 13, 2016

ANNOUNCER:Tonight, live from the Peace Center in Greenville, South Carolina, CBS News brings you the Republican presidential debate. (APPLAUSE) (CHEERING)

JOHN DICKERSON:Good evening. I'm John Dickerson. This holiday weekend as America honors our first president, we're about to hear from six men who hope to be the 45th. Candidates for the Republican nomination are here in South Carolina for their ninth debate, one week before this state holds the first-in-the-South primary. George Washington wrote that the truth will ultimately prevail, where there is pains taken to bring it to light. We hope to shed some light on the candidates' positions tonight to help voters make up their mind. So gentlemen, please join us on stage. (APPLAUSE) (CHEERING) With us tonight-- with us tonight, a retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson of Florida, (APPLAUSE) (CHEERING) Senator Marco Rubio of Florida (APPLAUSE) (CHEERING), businessman Donald Trump of New York (APPLAUSE) (CHEERING), Senator Ted Cruz of Texas (APPLAUSE) (CHEERING), Former Governor Jeb Bush of Florida (APPLAUSE) (CHEERING), and Governor John Kasich of Ohio (APPLAUSE) (CHEERING). Now as most of you have heard by now, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died today, at the age of 79. He was the longest-serving member of the court, appointed by President Reagan in 1986. Justice Scalia was the court's leading conservative, and even those who disagreed with his opinions regarded him as a brilliant legal scholar. Please join us and the candidates on our stage in a moment of silence for Justice Antonin Scalia. Thank you. We will talk to the candidates about Justice Scalia and the road ahead when the debate begins in a moment. (LONG PAUSE) (MUSIC) (APPLAUSE) Before we get started, candidates, here are the rules. When we ask you a question, you will have one minute to answer and 30 seconds more if we ask a follow-up. If you're attacked by another candidate, you get 30 seconds to respond. And here's how we keep time. After we ask a question, you'll get a green light. The yellow light means you have 30 seconds left to finish your answer. And when time is up, the light turns red. That means please stop talking. If you keep talking, you will hear this. (BELL) You don't want to hear that. Joining me in the questioning tonight, my CBS News colleague, Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett, and Kimberly Strassel, who is on the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal. And you can participate in the debate too, through our partnership with Twitter. Tweet us your questions and comments using the hashtag #GOPdebate. So let's begin. First, the death of j-- Justice Scalia and the vacancy that leaves on the Supreme Court. Mr. Trump, I want to start with you. You've said that the president shouldn't nominan-- nominate anyone in the rest of his term to replace Justice Scalia. If you were president and had a chance with 11 months left to go in your term, wouldn't it be an abdication, to conservatives in particular, not to name a conservative justice with the rest of your term so that--

DONALD TRUMP: Well, I can say this. If the president -- if I were president now, I would certainly want to try and nominate a justice. And I'm sure that, frankly--I'm absolutely sure that President Obama will try and do it. I hope that our Senate is going to be able, Mitch and the entire group, is gonna be able to do something about it, in times of delay. We could have a Diane Sykes or you could have a Bill Pryor. We have some fantastic people. But this is a tremendous blow to conservativism, it's a tremendous blow, frankly, to our country.

JOHN DICKERSON:So just to be clear on this, Mr. Trump, you're okay with the president nominating somebody?

DONALD TRUMP: I-- I think he's going to do it whether I'm okay with it or not. I think it's up to Mitch McConnell and everybody else to stop it. It's called delay, delay, delay. (APPLAUSE) (CHEERING)

JOHN DICKERSON:Governor Kasich, I wanna get your response on this. Justice Scalia--Scalia was a real believer, obviously, in the strict word of the constitution. Now, Harry Reid says that a failure to fill his vacancy would be, quote, "shameful abdication of one of the Senate's most essential constitutional responsibilities." Where do you come down on this?

GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH): Well, John, first of all, if I were president, we wouldn't have the divisions in the country we have today. And I do wanna take a second as we reflected on Judge Scalia, it's amazing. It's not even two minutes after the death of Judge Scalia, nine children here today, their father didn't wake up-- his wife-- you know, sad, but-- you know, I just wish we hadn't run so fast into politics. Here's my concern about this. The country's so divided right now, and now we're going to see another partisan fight taking place. I really wish the president would think about not nominating somebody. If you were to nominate somebody, let's have him pick somebody that is gonna have unanimous approval and such widespread approval across the country that this could happen without-- a lotta recrimination. I don't think that's going to happen. And I would like the president to just, for once here, put the country first. We're going to have an election for president very soon. And the people will understand what is at stake in that election. And so I believe that the president should not move forward and-- I-- I think that we oughta let the next president of the United States decide who is going to run that Supreme Court with a vote by the people of the (BELL) United States of America. (APPLAUSE)

JOHN DICKERSON:Dr. Carson-- Dr. Carson, you, like others, put out a statement-- after the death was announced. And you said, "The president should delay." You've written a book on the constitution recently. What does the constitution say about whose duty it is here to act in this kind of a situation?

DR. BEN CARSON:

Well, (THROAT CLEAR) the constitution actually doesn't address that particular situation. But the fact of the matter is, the Supreme Court obviously is a very important part of our-- governmental system. And when our constitution was put in place, the average age of death was under 50. And therefore, the whole concept of lifetime appointments for Supreme Court judges and federal judges was not considered to be a big deal. Obviously, that has changed. And it's something that-- probably needs to be looked at-- pretty carefully at some point. But we-- need to start thinking about the divisiveness that is going on in our country. I looked at some of the remarks that people made after-- finding out that Justice Scalia had died, and they were truly nasty remarks. And that we have managed to get to that position in our country is truly a shame. And we should be thinking about how can we create some healing in this land. But right now, we're not gonna get healing with President Obama. That's very clear. So I-- (BELL) fully agree that we should not-- allow a judge to be appointed during his time.

JOHN DICKERSON:Senator Rubio, you're a lawyer-- (APPLAUSE) (CHEERING) Senator Rubio, you're a lawyer. Quickly, can you address the issue of whether the constitution-- tells us whe-- whose-- who has the power to appoint Supreme Court justices? And then also, the Senate Republicans last year floated an idea of removing the filibuster for Senate-- excuse me, for Supreme Court nominations. You seemed open to that. What's your feeling on that now--

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL):Well, let-- let me first talk about Justice Scalia. This loss is tremendous, and obviously our hearts and prayers go out to his family. He will go down as one of the great justices in the history of this republic. You talk about someone who defended consistently the original meaning of the constitution, who understood that the constitution was not there to be interpreted based on the fads of the moment, but that they were there to-- it was there to be interpreted according to its original meaning. Justice Scalia understood that better than anyone in the history of this republic. His dissent, for example, on the independent coun-- on the independent counsel cases, it's a brilliant piece of-- of jurist work. And of course, his dissent on Obergefell as well. Number two, I do not believe the president should appoint someone. And it's not unprecedented. In fact, it's been over 80 years since a lame duck president has appointed a Supreme Court justice. And it reminds us of this, how important this election is.

JOHN DICKERSON: Thank you--

SEN. MARCO RUBIO:Someone on this stage will get to choose the-- the balance of the Supreme Court. And it will begin by filling this vacancy that's there now. And we need to put people on the bench that understand that the constitution is not a living and breathing document. It is to be interpreted as originally meant.

JOHN DICKERSON:Quickly though, on this question-- (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE) very quickly, Senator, on this specific question though, you were once-- in favor of dropping the threshold--to 50 to--

(OVERTALK)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: That-- that's not accurate.

JOHN DICKERSON:--majority, you were never in favor of that?

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: No, I've never-- there has been-- for example, today, according to the changes Harry Reid made, appellate judges can now be appointed by simple majority--

JOHN DICKERSON:Okay.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO:--but not Supreme Court justices. And I think today, you see the wisdom of why we don't want that to change. Because if that were the case, and we were not in charge of the Senate, Harry Reid and Barack Obama would ram down our throat a liberal justice like the ones-- b-- Barack Obama has imposed on us already--

JOHN DICKERSON:Okay, thank you Senator. Governor Bush-- I'd like to ask you, conservatives for a long time have felt like-- that their Republican presidents have picked justices that didn't turn out to be real conservatives.

GOV. JEB BUSH (R-FL):Right.

JOHN DICKERSON: Barry-- b-- Bernie Sanders has said he would have a litmus test. He would make sure that he appointed a justice who's gonna overturn Citizens United. If they can have a litmus test, what about you? Would you have a litmus test for a nominee and what would it be?

GOV. JEB BUSH:Not on specific issues, not at all. I think the next president, if I'm president, I'll appoint people, I'll nominate people that have a proven record in the judiciary. The problem in the past has been we've appointed people thinking you can get it through the Senate because they didn't have a record. And the problem is that sometimes we're surprised. The simple fact is, the next president needs to appoint someone with a proven conservative record, similar to Justice Scalia, that is a lover of liberty, that believes in limited government, that consistently applied-- that kind of philosophy, that didn't try to legislate from the bench, that was respectful of the constitution, and then fight and fight and fight for that nomination to make sure that that nomination passes. Of course the president, by the way, has every right to nominate Supreme Court justices. I'm an artic-- Article II guy in the constitution. We're running for the president of the United States. We want a strong executive for sure. But in return for that, there should be a consensus orientation on that nomination. And there's no doubt in my mind that Barack Obama will not have a consensus pick when he submits that person to the Senate.

JOHN DICKERSON:

Right, so Senator Cruz, the Constitution (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE) so Senator Cruz the constitution says the president shall appoint with advice and consent from the Senate, just to clear that up. So he has the constitutional power. But you don't think he should. Where do you set that date if you're president? Does it begin in election year, in December, November, September? Once you set the date when you're president, will you abide by that date?

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX):Well, we have 80 years of precedent of not confirming Supreme Court justices in an election year. And-- and let me say, Justice Scalia--

JOHN DICKERSON:Just-- can I-- I'm sorry to interrupt, were any nomina-- appointed in an election year? Or is that just there were 80 years happening--

SEN. TED CRUZ:80 years of-- of not confirming. For example, L.B.J. nominated Abe Fortas. Fortas did-- did not get confirmed. He was defeated.

JOHN DICKERSON:But Kennedy was confirmed in '88.

SEN. TED CRUZ: No, Kennedy was confirmed in '87.

JOHN DICKERSON:He was-- he was appoi-- he was appointed in '87

(OVERTALK)

SEN. TED CRUZ:He-- he was appointed in '88--

(OVERTALK)

JOHN DICKERSON: --that's the question is it appointing or confirming--

(OVERTALK)

SEN. TED CRUZ:In this case, it's both. But if I could-- could answer this question--

JOHN DICKERSON:

Sorry, sorry I just wanna get the facts straight for the audience. But I apologize. (AUDIENCE REACTION) (LAUGHTER)

SEN. TED CRUZ:Justice Scalia was a legal giant. He-- he was somebody that I knew for 20 years. He was a brilliant man, he was faithful to the constitution. He changed the arc of American legal history. And I'll tell you, his passing tonight, our prayers are with his family, with his wife Maureen, who he adored, his nine children, his 36 grandkids. But it underscores the stakes of this election. We are one justice away from a Supreme Court that will strike down every restriction on abortion adopted by the states. We are one justice away from a Supreme Court that will reverse the Heller decision, one of Justice Scalia's seminal decisions that upheld the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. We are one justice away from a Supreme Court that would undermine the religious liberty of millions of Americans and-- and the stakes of this election, for this year, for the Senate, the Senate needs to stand strong and say "We're not gonna give up the U.S. Supreme Court for a generation by allowing Barack Obama to make one more liberal appointee." And then, for the state of South Carolina, one of the most important judgments for the men and women of South Carolina to make, is who on this stage (BELL) has the background, the principle, the character, the judgment, and the strength of resolve to nominate and confirm principled constitutionalists to the court? That will be what I will do if I am elected president--

JOHN DICKERSON:All right. (APPLAUSE) (CHEERING) Thank you, Senator Cruz. All right, we're gonna get a move on to national security here. And we're gonna-- I wanna read a quote from Secretary Robert Gates, Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates who served for eight year-- f-- eight-- under eight presidents. And this is what he said about Republican candidates, quote, "Part of the concern that I have with the campaign is that the solutions being offered are so simplistic and so at odds with the way the world really works." So in that spirit, we're gonna work tonight to be more specific. Mr. Trump, I want to start with you. You said if-- as president, you'll get up to speed very quickly. You'll know more quickly as president than any of the experts. So you've been elected president, it's your first day in the situation room, what three questions do you ask your national security experts about the world?

DONALD TRUMP:What we wanna do, when we wanna do it, and how hard do we wanna hit. Because we are going to have to hit very, very hard to knock out ISIS. We're gonna also have to learn who our allies are. We have allies, so-called allies. We're spending billions and billions of dollars supporting people, we have no idea who they are in Syria. Do we wanna stay that route, or do we wanna go and make something with Russia? I hate to say Iran, but with Russia, because we made, in the Iran deal, with one of the worst deals I've ever seen negotiated in my entire life. It's a disgrace that this country negotiated that deal. But very important-- (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE) not only a disgrace, it's a disgrace and an embarrassment. But very important, who are we fighting with, who are we fighting for, what are we doing. We have to rebuild our country. But we have-- I'm the only one on the stage that said, "Do not go into Iraq. Do not attack Iraq." Nobody else on this stage said that. And I said it loud and strong. And I was in the private sector. I wasn't a politician, fortunately. But I said it. And I said it loud and clear. "You'll destabilize the Middle East." That's exactly what happened. I also said, by the way, (BELL) four years ago, three years ago, "Attack the oil. Take the wealth away. Attack the oil and keep the oil." They didn't listen. They just started that a few months ago.

JOHN DICKERSON:Senator Rubio, (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE) just-- 30 seconds on this question, Senator Rubio. Are those the questions you would ask?

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: No. I think there are three major threats that you want to immediately get on top of. Number one is, what are we doing in the Asia Pacific region, where both North Korea and China pose threats to the national security of the United States. Number two is, what are we doing in the Middle East with the combination of the Sunni/Shia conflict driven by the Shia Arc, that Iran is now trying to establish in the Middle East and also the growing threat of ISIS. And the third is rebuilding and reinvigorating NATO in the European theater, particularly in Central Europe and in Eastern Europe, where Vladimir Putin is now threatening the territor-- the territory of multiple countries, already controls 20% of Georgia, and a significant percentage of Ukraine.

JOHN DICKERSON: Let me ask you-- a follow-up-- a full, proper question then. (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE) Vi-- Violent extremists are operating, are active in 40 countries, some 80 countries are in-- a different dis-- degrees of instability. And so that's just the crises overseas. Barack Obama walked into an economic collapse when he came into office, we face international health crises from Ebola to-- to Zika. So there's a lot of opportunity for crisis, as you've talked about. What would you point to in your past to show voters that you've been in a crisis and that you've been tested, when that inevitable crisis comes in your presidency--

SEN. MARCO RUBIO:Well, let me just tell you what's happened a couple years ago. One of the hardest decisions you'll ever make in Congress is when you are asked by the president to authorize the use of force in a conflict. Because you are now putting your name on behalf of the people of your state, behind a military action where Americans in uniform could lose their life. So in 2014, Barack Obama said he would not take military action against Assad unless it was authorized by the Senate beginning on the Committee of Foreign Relations, where I am one of its members. And it was hard, because you looked at the pictures. I saw the same images people saw-- so I'm the father of children. I saw the images of these little children-- being gassed and poisoned by their own leaders. And we were angry. Something had to happen. And there was the sense that we needed to seek retribution. And then I looked at Barack Obama's plan. Barack Obama's plan, which John Kerry later described as "unbelievably small," and I concluded that that attack would not only not help the situation, it would make it actually worse. It would allow Assad to stand up to the United States of America, survive a strike, stay in power, and actually strengthen its grip. And so it was a difficult decision to make. And when we only had a few days to look at it, make a decision on, and I voted against Barack Obama's plan to use force, and it was the right decision.

JOHN DICKERSON:Dr. Carson, I want to ask you a question. (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE) Dr Carson, you've said you had more 2:00 a.m. ph-- 2:00 a.m. phone calls than anybody up on this stage. But when those 2:00 a.m. phone calls came, you operated on a foundation of all that amazing medical work that you did. All of that learning. So if you were to be president, though, you wouldn't have the political foundation that hones those instincts when the 2:00 a.m. phone call comes. So isn't that a liability?

DR. BEN CARSON: No, it isn't. First of all, let me-- go back to your-- first question for me. It wasn't phrased as who gets to-- nominate Supreme Court-- appointees. Of course that's the president. So I know that there's some left-wing media who will try to make hay on that. Secondly-- thank you for including me in the debate. Two questions already, this is great. (LAUGHTER) (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE) Now as far-- as far as those 2:00 a.m. phone calls are concerned-- judgment is what is required. And-- the kinds of things that you come up with are sometimes very, very difficult and very unique. One of the things that I was known for is doing things that have not been done before. So no amount of experience really prepares you to do something that has never been done before. That's where judgment comes in. And-- that, I think, is a situation that we're in right now, a situation that we have never been in before, with the kinds of threats thatpose real danger to our nation. And it comes in very handy in those situations.

JOHN DICKERSON:Governor Kasich, Russia is being credited-- (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE) Russia is being credited with bombing U.S.-backed rebels on behalf of Assad in Aleppo and Syria. They've also-- moved into the Crimea, Eastern Ukraine. You've said you want to punch them in the nose. What does that mean? What are you gonna do--

GOV. JOHN KASICH: John, first of all-- yes, first of all, look, we have to make it clear to Russia what we expect. We don't have to declare an enemy or rattle a sword or threaten. But we need to make it clear what we expect. Number one, is we will arm-- the folks in Ukraine who are fighting for their freedom. They deserve it. There'll be no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Secondly, an attack on NATO, trumped up on any excuse of Russian-speaking people, either in the NATO countries or in Finland or Sweden, is gonna be an attack on us. And look, I think we have an opportunity as America to put something really great together again. The Egyptians, the Saudis, the Jordanians, the Gulf states, it's-- they all know they're at risk. We didn't-- we need to look into Europe, we look at France, we look at Germany and the migrants, we look at Belgium, we look at Britain. Everybody now is being threatened by radical Islam. We have an opportunity to lead. You know, the fact of the matter is, the world is desperate for leadership. Sometimes they may-- they may make a remark here, there, that we don't like. But frankly, the world needs us. And we have an opportunity now to assemble a coalition of the civilized people, those who respect civilization, the rights of women, the rights to protest, to be able to reassert our leadership all across this globe again and make sure (BELL) this century is going to be the best we've ever seen.

JOHN DICKERSON: Governor-- (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE) Governor Bush--

GOV. JEB BUSH:Yeah?

JOHN DICKERSON:--you've said, "Defeating ISIS requires defeating Assad." But wouldn't that also put us into conflict with Russia, a country that supports Assad? So doesn't that mean effectively Assad's there to stay?

GOV. JEB BUSH:No, it doesn't. And that's the problem. The lack of leadership in this country, by Barack Obama, j-- John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, thinking that-- this is a policy that works, this policy of containment with ISIS, it's a complete, unmitigated disaster. And to allow Russia now to have influence in Syria makes it harder. But we need to destroy ISIS and dispose of Assad, to create a stable Syria so that the four million refugees aren't a breeding ground for Islamic jihadists. This is the problem. Donald Trump brought up the fact that he would-- he'd want to accommodate Russia. Russia is not taking out-- ISIS. They're-- they're attacking our-- our t-- our team, the team that we've been training and the team that we've been supporting. It is absolutely ludicrous to suggest that Russia could be a positive partner in this. They are on the run. They are making-- every time we step back, they're on the run. The question that you asked was a really good one about what you would do, what three things would you do. I would restore-- the military. The sequester needs to be re-- reversed. I would have a strategy to destroy ISIS. And I would immediately create a policy of containment-- as it relates to Iran's ambitions and to make it-- make clear that we are not going to allow for Iran to do what it's doing, which is to move towards a nuclear weapon. Those three things would be the first and foremost things that we need to do in this-- (BELL) in 2017.

JOHN DICKERSON:Mr. Trump, you're-- (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE) Mr. Trump, you were-- you were mentioned here. You did you say could get along very well with Vladimir Putin, you did at one point say let Russia--

(OVERTALK)

JOHN DICKERSON:--take care of ISIS--

MR. DONALD TRUMP:Called me a genius, I like him so far. I have to tell you. Let me just tell you this. Jeb is so wrong. Jeb is absolutely so-- (BOOING) that's-- just so you understand, you know what that is? That's Jeb's special interests and lobbyists talking. Look-- (AUDIENCE REACTION) let me just tell you something. Jeb-- Jeb is so wrong. You've gotta fight ISIS first. You fight ISIS first. Right now you have Russia, you have Iran, you have them with Assad and you have them with Syria. You have to knock out ISIS. They're chopping off heads. These are animals. You have to knock 'em out, you have to knock 'em off strong. You decide what to do after. You can't fight two wars at one time. If you listen to him, and you listen to some of the folks that I've been listening to, that's why we've been in the Middle East for 15 years. And we haven't won anything. We've spent 5 trillion dollars in the Middle East (CHEERING) because of thinking like that. (APPLAUSE) We've spent five-- (BELL)

JOHN DICKERSON: All right.

MR. DONALD TRUMP: --And Lindsey Graham, Lindsey Graham, who backed him, who had zero on his polls. Let me just tell you something, we've spent-- (AUDIENCE REACTION) we've spent-- we've spent-- I only tell the truth, lobbyists. We've spent 5 trillion dollars all over the m-- we have to rebuild our country, we have to rebuild our infrastructure. You listen to that, you're gonna be--

JOHN DICKERSON:All right--

MR. DONALD TRUMP:--there for another 15--

(OVERTALK)

JOHN DICKERSON:All right, Governor Bush--

(OVERTALK)

JOHN DICKERSON:--please respond.

GOV. JEB BUSH:So the very basic fact is that Vladimir Putin's not gonna be an ally of the United States. The whole world knows this. It's a simple, basic fact. (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE) They're not taking out-- they're not-- they're not even attempting to take out ISIS. They're-- they're attacking the troops that we're supporting. we need to create a coalition, Sunni-led coalition on the ground, with our special operators to destroy ISIS and bring about stability. And you can't do that with Assad in power.

(OVERTALK)

MR. DONALD TRUMP:We're supporting troops that we don't even know who they are--

GOV. JEB BUSH

Let me finish Donald

MR. DONALD TRUMP:We're supporting troops--

GOV. JEB BUSH: This is ridiculous.

MR. DONALD TRUMP: --that we don't even know who they are

JOHN DICKERSON:Mr. Trump-- (AUDIENCE REACTION) all right.

MR. DONALD TRUMP:We have no idea who they are.

JOHN DICKERSON:Gentlemen, I think we're gonna-- we're gonna leave that there, I've got questions for senator--

GOV. JEB BUSH: This is coming from a guy who gets his foreign policy from the shows.

MR. DONALD TRUMP:Oh yeah, yeah.

GOV. JEB BUSH: This is a guy who thinks that Hillary Clinton was a great negotiator in Iran.

(OVERTALK)

GOV. JEB BUSH:We're living in dangerous times.

MR. DONALD TRUMP:Spent 44 million in New Hampshire.

GOV. JEB BUSH:This is a man who insults his way to the nomination.

MR. DONALD TRUMP:-thirty-four million in New Hampshire.

JOHN DICKERSON:All right, all right--

MR. DONALD TRUMP:Give me a break.

JOHN DICKERSON:Gentlemen, gentlemen, let's leave it there so I can ask a question to Senator Cruz, who's also running for president. (LAUGHTER) Senator Cruz, (CHEERING) you talked about the first-- the First Gulf War as being a kind of model for your focused and determined effort to go after-- after ISIS. But there were 700,000 ground troops as a part of that. So-- and you don't have a ground component to your plan. Why?

SEN. TED CRUZ: Well, we need to focus on what the objective is. You know, your question about the first three questions you would ask in-- in the situation room, I think it is a problem if the president, commander in chief we've-- we've elected does not have the experience and background to understand the threats facing this country coming in on day one. If you look at the threats facing this country, the single-greatest threat, national security threat is the threat of a nuclear Iran. That's why I pledged on day one to rip to shreds this Iranian nuclear deal. And anyone that thinks you can negotiate with Khomeini (APPLAUSE) does not understand the nature of Khomeini. When it comes to ISIS, we've gotta have a focused objective. One of the problems of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton's foreign policy, and sadly, too many establishment Republicans in Washington, is they focused on issues unrelated to protecting this country. They focused on nation building. They focused on toppling governments to promote democracy, and it ends up undermining our natural security. Now with regard to ISIS, we need a commander in chief that sets the objective we will utterly defeat them, because they have declared war, they've declared jihad on us. Now what do we need to carry (BELL) that out? We need overwhelming air power, we need to arm the Kurds, who can be our boots on the ground, and if ground troops are necessary, then we should employ 'em. But it shouldn't be politicians demonstrating political toughness, it should be military expert judgment carrying out the objectives set up by the commander in chief. (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE)

JOHN DICKERSON:

Very quickly, 30-second follow-up. You-- you've said you would-- that essentially, the Kurds would be the American ground forces in there. The-- the-- the criticism, the-- the experts have on that is that the Kurds only can work within their territory. If they take larger amounts of territory, you have an ethnic war with the Arabs. So the Kur-- the Kurds can't really do as much, as you seem to be putting on-- on their backs--

SEN. TED CRUZ: Look, we have Kurds in both Iraq and Syria. They are fighting ISIS right now. They are winning victories right now. ISIS is using American military equipment they seized in Iraq, and the Obama administration refuses to arm the Kurds, the Peshmerga, the fighting forces who have been long-time allies. We oughta be arming them and letting them fight. Now, if we need to embed special forces to direct our overwhelming air power, if-- if it is required to use ground troops to defeat ISIS, we should use them, but we oughta start with using our incredible air power advantage. The first Persian Gulf War, we launched 1,100 air attacks a day. Today, we're launching between 15 and 30. We're not using the tools we have (BELL) and it's because the commander in chief is not focused on defeating the enemy.

JOHN DICKERSON:All right, Mr. Trump. (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE) On Monday, George W. Bush will campaign in South Carolina for his brother. As you said tonight, and you've often said, the Iraq War and your opposition to it was a sign of your good judgment. In 2008, in an interview with Wolf Blitzer talking about President George W. Bush's conduct through the war. You said you were surprised the Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi didn't try to impeach him. You said, quote, "Which personally, I think would have been a wonderful thing"-- close quote. When you were asked what you meant by that, you said, "For the war, for the war. He lied, he got us into the war with lies." Do you still believe President Bush should be impeached-- should've been impeached--

MR. DONALD TRUMP: First of all, I have to say, as a businessman, I get along with everybody. I have business all over the world. (AUDIENCE REACTION) I know so many of the people in the audience. And by the way, I'm a self-funder. I don't have-- I have my wife and I have my son. (CHEERING) That's all I have. I don't have this. So-- let me just tell you, I get along with everybody, which is my obligation to my company, to myself, et cetera. Obviously-- the war in Iraq was a big, fat mistake, all right? Now, you can take it any way you want. And it took j-- (APPLAUSE) it took Jeb Bush, if you remember at the beginning of his announcement, when he announced for president, took him five days, he went back, "It was a mistake, it wasn't a mistake." Took him five days before his people told him what to say. And he ultimately said, "It was a mistake." The war in Iraq, we spent 2 trillion dollars, thousands of lives, we don't even have it. Iran is taking over Iraq with the second-largest oil reserves in the world. Obviously it was a mistake. So George Bush made a mistake. We can make mistakes. But that one was a beauty. We shoulda never been in Iraq. We have destabilized--

JOHN DICKERSON: All right.

MR. DONALD TRUMP: --the Middle East.

JOHN DICKERSON:But tell you-- so, I mean, let's--

(OVERTALK)

JOHN DICKERSON:--you said yourself that he should be impeached.

GOV. JEB BUSH: I think it's my turn, isn't it?

MR. DONALD TRUMP: You do whatever you want. You call it whatever you want. I wanna tell you. They lied.

JOHN DICKERSON: Okay.

Mr. Donald Trump: They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none. And they knew there were none. There were no weapons of mass destruction. (BOOING)

JOHN DICKERSON: Okay, all right, Governor Bu-- (BELL) (AUDIENCE REACTION) when a member on the stage's brother gets attacked, the brother gets to respond--

(OVERTALK)

GOV. JEB BUSH: I got that five or six-- I get to do it five or six times or just once--

MR. DONALD TRUMP:I'm being nice.

GOV. JEB BUSH: So here's the deal. I'm sick and tired of Barack Obama blaming my brother for all of the problems that he's had. (APPLAUSE) (CHEERING) And frankly, I could-- I could care less about the insults that Donald Trump gives to me. It's blood sport for him, he enjoys it, and I'm glad he's happy about it. But I am sick and tired--

MR. DONALD TRUMP:He spent 22 million dollars in--

(OVERTALK)

GOV. JEB BUSH:I am sick and tired of him going after my family. My dad is the greatest man alive in my mind. (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE) While-- 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. (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE) He's had the gall to go--

MR. DONALD TRUMP: The World Trade Center came down during your brother's reign. Remember that.

(OVERTALK)

GOV. JEB BUSH: (BOOING) He's had the gall to go after my mother.

MR. DONALD TRUMP: That's not keeping us safe--

OVERTALK)

GOV. JEB BUSH:Look, I won the lottery when I was born 63 years ago and looked up and I saw my mom. Mom-- my mom is the strongest woman I know.

MR. DONALD TRUMP:She should be running -

(OVERTALK)

GOV. JEB BUSH:But this is not about my family or his family.

JOHN DICKERSON:Okay.

GOV. JEB BUSH:This is about the South Carolina families that need someone to be a commander in chief that can lead.

JOHN DICKERSON:Governor--

GOV. JEB BUSH: I'm that person.

JOHN DICKERSON: Governor Kasich would you weigh in on-- (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE) Governor Kasich, please weigh in.

GOV. JOHN KASICH: I gotta tell you, this is just crazy, huh? This is just nuts, okay? (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE) Please, oh man. I'm sorry John.

JOHN DICKERSON: Weigh. Why is it nuts? Talk about it. Give us your sense of--

GOV. JOHN KASICH: Oh, well listen, I think-- being in Iraq, look, we thought there were weapons of mass destruction. Colin Powell, who is one of the most distinguished generals in modern times said there were weapons there. (APPLAUSE) But-- but, the fact is, we got ourselves in the middle of the civil war. The Sunni, the Shia, and the Kurds never got along. In fact, that country was drawn, the borders of that country were-- were drawn after World War I by Westerners that didn't understand what was happening there. The-- the tragedy of it is that we're still embroiled. And frankly, if there weren't mass-- weapons of mass destruction, we should never have gone. I don't believe that the United States should involve itself in civil wars. Civil wars are not in our direct interest. And if you-- and look, I served on the defense committee for 18 years and was called into the Pentagon after 9/11 by Secretary Rumsfeld to deal with some of the most serious problems that we faced. (BELL) The fact is, is that we should go to war when it is our direct interest, we should not be policemen of the war-- of the world. But when we go, we mean business, we'll do our job, we'll tell our soldiers, our people in the service, "Take care of your job, and then come home (BELL) once we've accomplished our goals.

GOV. JOHN KASICH: That's-- that's what we need to do. (APPLAUSE) (CHEERING)

JOHN DICKERSON:Thirty-- 30 seconds, senator.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: I just wanna say, at least on behalf of me and my family, I thank God all the time that it was George W. Bush in the White House on 9/11 and not Al Gore. (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE) And you can-- I think you can look back in hindsight and say a couple things, but he kept us safe. And not only did he keep us safe, but he-- no matter what you wanna say about weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein was in violation of U.N. resolutions, in open violation, and the world wouldn't do anything about it. And George W. Bush, enforced what the international community, refused to do, and again he kept us safe. And I am forever grateful to what he did for this--

(OVERTALK)

MR. DONALD TRUMP:How did he keep us safe when the World Trade Center came down? (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE) The World-- I lost hundreds of friends. The World Trade Center came down (BOOING) during the reign of George Bush. He kept us safe? That's not safe. That is not safe, Marco.

JOHN DICKERSON:All right.

MR. DONALD TRUMP: That is not safe. The World Trade Center--

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: The World Trade Center came down because Bill Clinton didn't kill Osama bin Laden when he had the chance to kill him.

(OVERTALK)

MR. DONALD TRUMP:By the way, George Bush had the chance also and he didn't listen to the advice of his C.I.A.

JOHN DICKERSON: All right, Dr.Carson, we have--

GOV. JEB BUSH:Can I just--

(OVERTALK)

GOV. JEB BUSH: I'm not gonna invite Donald Trump to the rally in Charleston on Monday afternoon--

MR. DONALD TRUMP: I don't wanna go.

GOV. JEB BUSH:where my brother's coming to speak. (LAUGHTER) I'm rescinding the invitation. I thought you might wanna come, but I guess not.

JOHN DICKERSON:All right, well, Dr. Carson, I've got a question now for you. G-- a moment of pause here. You've said, Dr. Carson, that-- that referring to yourself, that people bought into the idea that quote, a "nice person can't be tough on terrorists." You've called for loosening the rules of engagement for the military. Which could lead to more civilian casualties. So explain why those casualties would be acceptacle-- acceptable in the fight against ISIS.

DR. BEN CARSON: Well, first of all, let me just-- address the Iraq question. You know, I was not particularly in favor of-- us going to war in Iraq, primarily because I-- I've studied, you know, the Middle East, recognizing that those are nations that are ruled by dictators, and have been for thousands of years. And when you go in and you remove one of those dictators, unless you have an appropriate plan for replacing them, you're gonna have chaos. Now fortunately, we were able to stabilize the situation. And it was the-- the current administration that turned tail and ran and destabilized the situation. (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE) Now, having said that, in terms of the rules of engagement, I was talking about, you know, Obama has said, you know, we shouldn't bomb tankers, you know, coming out of refineries because there may be people in there or because the environment may be hurt. You know, that's just asinine thinking. And the fact of the matter is, (CHEERING) you know, we-- obviously you're not going to accomplish all of (BELL) your goals without some collateral damage. You have to be able to assess what is acceptable and what is not.

JOHN DICKERSON:All right, thank you Dr. Carson. (AUDIENCE REACTION) We're gonna have to take a commercial break. Thank you to all the candidates, we'll be right back with CBS News's 2016 Debate in Greenville, South Carolina. (APPLAUSE)

MR. DONALD TRUMP:The Iran deal, it's one of the worst deals I've ever seen negotiated in my entire life. It's a disgrace.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO:The constitution is not a living and breathing document. It is to be interpreted as originally meant.

GOV. JEB BUSH:We need to destroy ISIS and dispose of Assad. (MUSIC) (LONG PAUSE)

JOHN DICKERSON: We're back with the Republicans who would be president. The topic now is money and how the candidates would spend it. So we're going to turn the questioning over to Kimberly Strassel of The Wall Street Journal and Major Garrett of CBS News. Kim?

KIMBERLY STRASSEL: Mr. Trump.

MR. DONALD TRUMP: Yes.

KIMBERLY STRASSEL:

You have-- made a lot of promises-- and you have also-- you're the only candidate who has said he would not touch entitlements. The Committee for Responsible Federal Budget has estimated that your ideas would cost an additional $12 to $15 trillion over the next 10 years, and that we would have to have annual economic growth of anywhere from 7.7% to 9% annually to pay for them. Are you proposing more than you can actually deliver? At least not without big deficits?

MR. DONALD TRUMP:First of all, the-- when you say the only candidate, if you listen to the Democrats they wanna do many things to Social Security. And I wanna do 'em on its own merits. You listen to them, what they wanna do to Social Security, none of these folks are getting elected. Okay? Whether they can do it or not. I'm going to save Social Security. I'm goin' to bring jobs back from China. I'm gonna bring jobs back from Mexico and from Japan where they're all-- every country throughout the world-- now Vietnam, that's the new one. They are taking our jobs. They're takin' our wealth. They're takin' our base. And you and I have had this discussion. We're going to make our economy strong again. I'm lowering taxes.

We have two and half trillion offshore. We have two and half trillion that I think is actually 5 trillion because the government has no idea when they say 2.5. They have no idea what they're doing or saying, as they've proven very well. We're gonna bring that money back. You take a look at what happened just this week. China bought the Chicago Stock Exchange. China. A Chinese company. Carrier is moving to Mexico. Air conditioning company. Not only the ones I talk about all the time, Nabisco and Ford and-- they're all moving out. We have an economy that last quarter (BELL) GDP didn't grow. It was flat. We have to make our economy grow again. We're dying. This country is dying. And our workers are losing their jobs. And you--

(OVERTALK)

KIMBERLY STRASSEL: But in terms of--

MR. DONALD TRUMP: I'm the only one gonna save Social Security. Believe me.

KIMBERLY STRASSEL: Okay, but how would (BELL) you actually (APPLAUSE) do that? Can I ask you? Because right now Social Security--

MR. DONALD TRUMP: 'Cause you have--

KIMBERLY STRASSEL: --and Medicare--

MR. DONALD TRUMP: --tremendous waste of--

KIMBERLY STRASSEL: --they-- they take up 2/3 of the federal budget--

MR. DONALD TRUMP: You have tremendous--

KIMBERLY STRASSEL: --and they're growing--

MR. DONALD TRUMP: --waste, fraud and abuse. That we're takin' care of. (WHISTLE) That we're taking care of. It's tremendous. (APPLAUSE) We have in Social Security right now thousands and thousands of people that are over 106 years old. Now, you know they don't exist. They don't exist. There's tremendous waste, fraud and abuse and we're gonna get it. But we're not gonna hurt the people who've been paying into Social Security their whole life and then all of a sudden they're supposed to get less. We're bringing our jobs back. We're gonna make our economy great again.

MAJOR GARRETT: Senator Cruz. (CHEERING) John mentioned this is about dollars and cents. We also wanna talk about economic growth and wage growth. You have proposed a consumption tax. You call it a flat tax. Some analysts compare it more akin to a value added tax. From a perspective of economic growth and building wages, how does that work? And how would you address the long standing conservative concern that something approaching a value-added tax will be used to constantly increase those rates to pay for future government spending and become an escalator of taxation, not of growth.

SEN. TED CRUZ: Well, let me say at the outset that everyone here understands, everyone understands at home, that the middle class has been left behind in the last seven years of the Obama economy. And we've gotta bring jobs back. We've gotta get people out-- back to work. We've gotta get wages going up again. We've gotta get people moving from part-time work to full-time work. We all agree on that, but it's not gonna be solved with magic pixie dust. It's not just gonna be solved by declaring into the air, "Let there be jobs." We actually have to understand the principles that made America great in the first place. Now, where do you get economic growth? If you look at cause and effect over our nation's history, every time we lessen the burden of Washington on small business owners, on job creators, we see incredible economic growth. You do that through tax reform and regulatory reform. My tax plan, typical family of four. First $36,000 you earn you pay nothing in taxes. No income taxes. No payroll taxes. No nothing. Above 10% everyone pays the same simple flat 10% income rate. It's flat and fair. You can fill out your taxes on a (BELL) postcard and we abolish the I.R.S. And if you wanna see the postcard, I've got it on-- on my website. (APPLAUSE)

MAJOR GARRETT: Right. But to the question-- because conservatives have flirted with this idea conceptually for a long time. But especially on this consumption value-added tax system, in Europe, where it exists, it has become an escalator of taxation to feed government spending. And that's why conservatives have long resisted it. Why-- and what would you do as president to make sure that doesn't happen?

SEN. TED CRUZ: Well, Major, the-- the business flat tax that is in my tax plan is-- is not a VAT. A VAT in Europe is a sales tax. The business flat tax is not a sales tax. It is a tax of 16% imposed fairly and evenly across the board on all businesses. And one of the things that's critical is we're doing that in conjunction with abolishing the corporate income tax. With abolishing the Obamacare taxes. With abolishing the payroll taxes, which are the biggest taxes paid by most working Americans. And with abolishing the death tax, which is cruel and unfair. And you asked about economic growth. The Non-Partisan Tax Foundation estimated that the (BELL) Cruz simple flat tax would produce $4.9 million new jobs, would increase capital investment by 44% and would lift (BELL) everyone's incomes by double digits. That's how you turn the country around. Not just hoping and praying for it, but implementing policies that work--

KIMBERLY STRASSEL: Okay. I have a question-- (APPLAUSE) a related tax question, for Senator Rubio. Senator Rubio, you have the highest tax rate of anyone up on the stage, in terms of the top tax rate. 35%. Which some economists say would limit its potential to boost economic growth. You do that so that you will have more revenue to pay for a tripling of the child tax credits. Normally it's liberals who like to use the tax code to influence social policy. Why should conservatives want a tax plan that adopts the other side's approach?

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: Well, because I'm not influencing social policy. This is their money. This is the money of parents. You don't earn the tax credit unless you're working. That's your money. It doesn't belong to the government. And here's what I don't understand. If a business takes their money and they invest it in a piece of equipment, they get to write it off their taxes. But if a parent takes money that they have earned through work, and invests it in their children, they don't? This makes no sense. Parenting is the most important job any of us will ever have. Family formation (CHEERING) is the most important institution in society. And so what my tax plan does is it does create, especially for working families, an additional child tax credit so that parents who are working get to keep more of their own money, not the government's money, to invest in their children. To go to school. To go to a private school. To buy a new backpack. Because, let me tell you, if you're a parent that's struggling, you know that $50 a month is the difference between a new pair of shoes this month or not getting a new pair of shoes for your kids. I'm gonna have a tax plan that is pro-family because the family is the most important institution in society. You cannot have a strong country without strong families. (CHEERING)

KIMBERLY STRASSEL: Governor Kasich. Governor Kasich, this goes to-- the size of gover-- government. In 2013 you pushed through a Medicaid reform in your state, over the objections of many of the Republicans in your state. Total enrollment and overall costs of that program have-- gone well beyond what anyone had expected, including yourself. How can you argue that this overall growth fits in with conservative ambitions to significantly cut back on the size of federal welfare programs?

GOV. JOHN KASICH: Well, first of all, those numbers are incorrect. (CLEARS THROAT) We-- our-- our Medicaid programs are coming in below cost estimates, and our Medicaid program in the second year grew at 2.5%. And-- Kimberly, let me tell you, when we expand Medicaid and we treat the mentally ill, then they don't live under a bridge or live in a prison, where they cost $22,500 a year. When we take the drug addicted and we treat them in the prisons we stop the revolving door of people in and out of prisons and we save $22,000-- $22,500 a year. Guess what else? They get their lives back. And the working poor? They're now getting healthcare. And you know that about a third of the people who are now getting that healthcare are people who are suffering very serious illnesses, particularly cancer. So what I would tell you is we've gone from an $8 billion hole to a $2 billion surplus. We've cut taxes by more than any governor in America by $5 billion. We have grown in the number of jobs by 400,000 private sector jobs since I've been governor. Our credit is strong. Our pensions are strong. And, frankly, we leave no one behind. Economic growth is not an end into itself. We want everyone to rise (BELL) and we will make them personally responsible for the help that they get. And that is exactly the program we're driving in Ohio. And boy, people oughta look at Ohio 'cause it's got the good formula--

MAJOR GARRETT: Governor Bush, I've got a--

GOV. JEB BUSH: Yes. (CHEERING)

MAJOR GARRETT: --question for you, but if you wanna jump in--

GOV. JEB BUSH: I'd like to--

MAJOR GARRETT: --please.

GOV. JEB BUSH: Can I-- can I-- (CHEERING)

MAJOR GARRETT: Jump in and then I've got a question for you.

GOV. JEB BUSH: Look, I admire the fact that Governor Kasich is supporting spending more money on drug treatment and mental health. I think that's a high priority all across this country. (CHEER) But expanding Obamacare is what we're talkin' about. And Obamacare's expansion, even though the federal government is paying for the great majority of it, is creating further debt on the backs of our children and grandchildren. We should be fighting Obamacare. Repealing Obamacare. Replacing it with something totally different. (APPLAUSE) When I was-- as a private citizen, Florida was confronted with this choice. The governor was supportive of doing what John did. So was the Florida Senate. A committed speaker of the House asked me to go as a private citizen to co-- to make the case against the expansion. (BELL) I did. And it wasn't expanded there, just as it wasn't expanded in South Carolina under Governor--

(OVERTALK)

GOV. JEB BUSH: --Haley.

MAJOR GARRETT: Real quickly.

GOV. JOHN KASICH: No--

MAJOR GARRETT: Jump in. (CHEERING)

GOV. JOHN KASICH: No--

MAJOR GARRETT: 'cause I got a question for--

(OVERTALK)

MAJOR GARRETT: --Governor Bush. But jump in.

GOV. JOHN KASICH: First of all, when Jeb was governor, her-- his first four years (LAUGH) as governor, he expand-- his Medicaid program grew twice as fast as mine. Okay? It's just a fact. Now, with Obamacare, I've not only sued the administration, I did not set up an exchange. And he knows that I'm not (CHUCKLE) pro-Obamacare. Never have been. But here's interesting about Medicaid. You know who expanded Medicaid five times to try to help the folks and give them opportunity so they could rise and get a job? President Ronald Reagan. Now the fact of the matter is we expanded to get people on their feet. And once they're on their feet, we are-- we are giving them the training and the efforts that they need to be able to--

MAJOR GARRETT: Understood--

GOV. JOHN KASICH: --get work--

MAJOR GARRETT: --Governor Kasich.

GOV. JOHN KASICH: --to get work and pull out of that (BELL) situation.

GOV. JOHN KASICH: And so--

MAJOR GARRETT: Back to--

GOV. JOHN KASICH: --that's what worked -

MAJOR GARRETT: --Governor Bush--

GOV. JOHN KASICH: --in-- in our state.

GOV. JEB BUSH: South Carolinians need to know this because the Cato Institute, which grades governors based on their spending, rake him-- rank him right at the bottom--

MAJOR GARRETT: Governor Bush, fine. And we--

GOV. JEB BUSH: And Governor Haley--

(OVERTALK)

GOV. JEB BUSH: --is ranked at the top.

MAJOR GARRETT: Let me get a question to you--

GOV. JEB BUSH : But he mentioned by name--

(OVERTALK)

MAJOR GARRETT: --on this-- I understand. I understand.

GOV. JEB BUSH: No, let me finish--

MAJOR GARRETT: But no--

GOV. JOHN KASICH: --though. Hey, wait, wait, wait.

MAJOR GARRETT: This is important--

GOV. JOHN KASICH: Hold on, Major. Hold on, Major.

MAJOR GARRETT: I just--

GOV. JEB BUSH: South Carolinians--

(OVERTALK)

GOV. JEB BUSH: --wanna make sure that they elect the most--

MAJOR GARRETT: He--

GOV. JEB BUSH: --conservative governor or candidate that can win.

GOV. JOHN KASICH: Let me-- let me--Major--

MAJOR GARRETT: I'd like to--

GOV. JOHN KASICH: Let me tell ya--

MAJOR GARRETT: Get--question on--

GOV. JOHN KASICH: They--

MAJOR GARRETT: --economic growth, Governor Bush. (CHEERING)

GOV. JOHN KASICH: Major. We can't-- we gotta-- look, I gotta correct the record. And the fact of the matter is we went from an $8 billion hole to a $2 billion surplus. We're up 400,000 jobs. Our credit is rock solid. And I don't know-- look, the--

MAJOR GARRETT: The--with me--

GOV. JOHN KASICH: --bottom line is--

MAJOR GARRETT: --governor.

GOV. JOHN KASICH: --the people of this-- of this country and this state want to see everybody rise and they wanna see unity. And I don't wanna get into all this fighting tonight--

MAJOR GARRETT: I know.

(OVERTALK)

MAJOR GARRETT: Understood.

GOV. JOHN KASICH:

Because people are--

MAJOR GARRETT: Governor Bush--

GOV. JOHN KASICH: --sick of the negative campaigning. (APPLAUSE) And I'm gonna stay positive about what I wanna--

(OVERTALK)

GOV. JOHN KASICH: --do--

MAJOR GARRETT: Governor Bush, from the perspective of economic growth. (APPLAUSE) Viewed from the perspective of economic growth you have proposed a tax on hedge fund managers. The Americans for Tax Reform, a conservative tax group you're probably aware of, has said, "No Republican should be for higher taxes on capital gains." And many conservatives wonder if this proposal of yours would undermine not only that philosophy but undercut your projection of 4% economic growth annually under your presidency.

GOV. JEB BUSH: Of course not. It won't-- have an impact on hedge fund managers paying ordinary-- income. In fact it's-- it's not just hedge fund people but people that are doing-- they're in the business of investing other people's money. Getting capital gains treatment is not pro-- not appropriate. They should be paying ordinary income. That's their business. They're grateful to be able to make a lot of money. I'm sure. And what we do is lower the rates. It's not-- it's not the end of the world that private equity people and hedge fund pep-- folks that are-- right now getting capital grains treatment for the income they earn pay ordinary income like everybody else in this room. That's not a problem at all. What we need to do is to reform the tax code to simplify the rates to shift power away from Washington, D.C. And that's what I did as governor of the state of Florida. $19 billion of tax cuts. And it stimulated-- seven out of the eight years Florida led the nation in job growth.

MAJOR GARRETT: Very good. (CHEERING) Doc-- Dr. Carson. Before we go to break, would you give us your sense of this conversation about either Medicaid or economic growth through taxation?

DR. BEN CARSON: Well, first of all, let me just mention-- on the tax issue. BenCarson.com. Go read about it. Because-- my tax plan has been-- praised by Cato, by Wall Street Journal. Forbes said it is the best, the most pro-growth tax plan. And it's based on real fairness for everybody. Starts at the-- 150% poverty level. But even the people below that have to pay something, because everybody has to have skin in the game. And-- millions of people can't, (APPLAUSE) you know, talk about what other people have to pay and have no skin in the game. And-- it deals with the corporate tax rate. It makes it the same as everybody else. (BELL) Everybody pays exactly the same.

JOHN DICKERSON: Doctor--

DR. BEN CARSON: And as far as Medicare and Medicaid, my main goal is to get rid of Obamacare and put the care back in the hands of--

JOHN DICKERSON: All right--

DR. BEN CARSON: --patients--

JOHN DICKERSON: All right. Doctor--

DR. BEN CARSON: --and--

JOHN DICKERSON: --Dr. Carson, I'm sorry. We have to go to a commercial. The free market wants what it wants. (LAUGHTER) Back soon to the 2016 Republican debate in Greenville, South Carolina. (MUSIC) (APPLAUSE)

JOHN DICKERSON: Welcome back. We'll begin the second half of the debate with one of the hottest issues in the Republican campaign. Immigration. But before I turn it back to Major Garrett and Kim Strassel I have one question for Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump, in the Republican National Committee's Spanish language response to the State of the Union, Congressman Díaz-Balart said, quote, "It's essential that we find a legislative solution," talking about immigration, "to offer a permanent and humane solution to those who live in the shadows." What does that mean to you? A humane solution to those who live in the shadows?

MR. DONALD TRUMP: I want everybody taken care of, but we have to take care of our people in this country. We're not taking care of (APPLAUSE) our people. We have no border. We have no control. People are flooding across. We can't have it. We either have a border-- and I'm-- very strongly-- I am not opposing. I will build a wall. I will build a wall. Remember this, the wall will be paid for by Mexico. We are not being treated right. (CHEERING) We are not being treated properly. If we don't have borders, if we don't have strength, we don't have a country. People are flowing across. (TAPPING) We have to take care of our people, believe me. (APPLAUSE)

MAJOR GARRETT: Senator Rubio. (CHEERING) For the purposes of the lines-- lines you would draw legislatively as a president on immigration reform, define amnesty.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: Well, first of all, I think amnesty is the forgiveness of a wrongdoing without consequence. And that-- I don't-- I've never supported that. I do not support that. I think there has to be consequences for violating our immigration (CHEERING) laws. What I think is clear about this issue to begin with is we're not gonna be able to make progress on illegal immigration until first illegal immigration is brought under control. Now-- you go back to 1986 when they legalized three million people and they promised to secure the border. It didn't happen. And as a result, people have lost trust in the federal government. It is now clear that the only way to make progress on immigration is not just to pass a law that enforces the law, but actually prove to people that it's working. They wanna see the wall built. They wanna see the additional border agents. They wanna see e-verify. They wanna see an entry-exit tracking system. 40% of the people in this country illegally are entering legally and overstaying visas. And only after all of that is in place then we'll see what the American people are willing to support on this issue. I think the American people will be very reasonable, but responsible about how you handle someone who's been here a long time. Who can pass a background check. Who pays a fine and starts paying taxes, and all they want is a work permit. But you can't do any of that until you prove to people that illegal immigration is under control once and for all. (BELL) (CHEERING)

KIMBERLY STRASSEL: Senator Cruz. Senator Cruz. You have promised to deport illegal aliens. You've also promised to reverse President Obama's executive action that gives temporary amnesty to illegals that were brought here by their parents as children. As president, you would have the names and addresses of those-- some 800,000 of those that have registered under that action. Now, you have said that in this country we shouldn't go door to door looking for illegals, but in this case you'd have a list. Would you use it?

SEN. TED CRUZ: Well, you know, your question highlights-- a sharp difference on immigration on this stage. You know, in a Republican primary everyone talks tough on immigration. Everyone is against illegal immigration in a Republican primary. But as voters, we've been burned over and over again by people that give us a great campaign speech and they don't walk the walk. There are sharp differences on amnesty. If you look at the folks on this stage, when Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer and establishment Republicans were leading the fight to pass a massive amnesty plan, I stood with Jeff Sessions and Steve King and the American people and led the fight to defeat that amnesty plan. (APPLAUSE) (BOOS)

KIMBERLY STRASSEL: So would you-- would you use the addressses?

SEN. TED CRUZ: Now, that moment--

KIMBERLY STRASSEL: Would you pick them up? (SHOUTING)

SEN. TED CRUZ: --that moment was what Reagan would call a time for choosing. (BOOS) When it comes to deciding which side of the line you're on, the Rubio-Schumer amnesty plan, (CHEERING) (BOOS) apparently supported by the donor class, which is why Washington supported (SHOUTING) it. The Rubio-Schumer amnesty plan passed the Senate and it was on the verge of passing the House. House leadership intended to take it up and pass it with the Democrats overruling most of the Republicans. And the question for anyone on illegal immigration is where were you in that fight? Where did you stand? You are right. There is a difference between Senator Rubio and me--

KIMBERLY STRASSEL: Senator Rubio--

SEN. TED CRUZ: --on this question. (BELL)

KIMBERLY STRASSEL: Your reply--

SEN. TED CRUZ: We're gonna have to do--

KIMBERLY STRASSEL: Your reply. (CHEERING) (BOOS)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: Let's-- we're gonna have to do this again. Okay? When that issue was being debated Ted Cruz, at a committee hearing, very passionately said, "I want immigration reform to pass. I want people to be able to come out of the shadows." And he proposed an amendment that would have legalized people here. Not only that, he proposed doubling the number of green cards. He proposed a 500% increase on guest (CHEERING) workers. Now his position is different. Now-- now he is a passionate opponent of all those things. So he either wasn't telling the truth then or he isn't telling the truth now. But to argue he's a purist on immigration (CHEERING) is just not true.

SEN. TED CRUZ: Just-- hey, do I-- I get a response?

KIMBERLY STRASSEL: All right. Senator Cruz. Your response Senator Cruz.

SEN. TED CRUZ: You know, the lines are very clear. Marco right now supports citizenship for 12 million people here illegally. (CROWD REACTS) I oppose citizenship. Marco stood (BOOS) on the debate stage and said that. But I would note, not only that. Marco has a long record when it comes to amnesty. In the state of Florida as speaker of the House he supported in state tuition for illegal immigrants. In addition to that, Marco went on Univision in Spanish and said he would not rescind President Obama's illegal executive amnesty on his first day in office. I have promised to rescind every single illegal executive action, including that one. (CHEERING) (BOOS) (OVERTALK)

MAJOR GARRETT: We've gone too long

MAJOR GARRETT: --but very quickly.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: First of all--

SEN. TED CRUZ: --they were--

(OVERTALK)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: --I don't know how you know he knows what I said on Univision 'cause he doesn't speak Spanish. And second of all, (LAUGHTER) the other point that I was-- (FOREIGN LANGUAGE NOT TRANSCRIBED)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: This is-- look, this is a disturbing pattern now, 'cause for a number of weeks now Ted Cruz has just been telling lies.

SEN. TED CRUZ: Right.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: He lied about Ben Carson in Iowa. (CHEERING) He lies about planned parenthood--

(OVERTALK)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: He lies about marriage. He's lying about all sorts of things. And now he makes things up. The bottom line is this is a campaign and people are watching it and they see the truth behind all these issues. And here's the truth. Ted Cruz supported legalizing people that were in this country illegally--

SEN. TED CRUZ: That is simply false--

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: And only now does he--

(OVERTALK)

SEN. TED CRUZ: --that is absolutely false--

KIMBERLY STRASSEL: Major--

SEN. TED CRUZ: --false. (CHEERING)

(OVERTALK)

SEN. TED CRUZ: It is knowingly false. And I would note if--

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: Well, we'll put it on--

SEN. TED CRUZ: --you want to obsess--

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: --our website.

SEN. TED CRUZ: If you wanna obsess--

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: MarcoRubio.com.

SEN. TED CRUZ: --accept who's-- who's telling the truth--

MAJOR GARRETT: Okay.

SEN. TED CRUZ: If you want to assess who's telling-- (CHEERING) then you should look to Jeff Sessions, who said, "Without Ted Cruz the Rubio-Schumer amnesty bill would have passed and Ted was responsible." You should look to Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin that said--

MAJOR GARRETT: Senator-- Senator Cruz--

SEN. TED CRUZ: --Marco--

(OVERTALK)

MAJOR GARRETT: That'll be-- that'll be the last point.

MAJOR GARRETT: Governor Bush.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: I'll put the video online--

MAJOR GARRETT: Governor Bush--

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: --and you can make up--

MAJOR GARRETT: Governor Bush. I wanna--

GOV. JEB BUSH: Yes. Yeah.

MAJOR GARRETT: --bring this up to a little wider philosophical aperture -

GOV. JEB BUSH: Okay.

MAJOR GARRETT: --if you will.

GOV. JEB BUSH: Thank you.

MAJOR GARRETT: You have said leg-- illegal immigrants broke quote broke the law, but it's not a felony. Still quoting you. It's an act of love. It's an act of commitment to your family. Mr. Trump has, as you are well aware, denounced that statement over and over. Do you still believe it? What does that mean to you? And how does that inform--

GOV. JEB BUSH: First, I--

MAJOR GARRETT: --your approach--

GOV. JEB BUSH: --feel like I--

MAJOR GARRETT: --to immigration reform?

GOV. JEB BUSH: Great question. I feel like I have to-- get into my inner Chris Christie and point out that the reason why I should be president is listening to two senators talk about arcane amendments to bills that didn't pass. (CHEERING) This is-- this is the problem. We need-- we need a leader to fix this problem. And I have a detailed plan to do just that-- including controlling the border. Dealing with the visa over-stayers. Making sure that we have a path to legal status, not to citizenship, for those the come out from the shadows and pay a fine, learn English, don't commit crimes, work and pay taxes. That is the better approach.

MAJOR GARRETT:

Fundamentally, do you believe this rhetoric is insufficiently compassionate to this issue?

GOV. JEB BUSH: The-- the great majority of people that come to this country come because they have no other choice. They wanna come to provide their families. That doesn't mean it's right. (CHEERING) That doesn't mean it's right. We should pick who comes to our country. We should control our border. Coming here legally should be a lot easier than coming here illegally. But the motivation, they're not all rapists as you know who said. They're not that. (LAUGHTER) These are people that are coming to provide for their families. And we should show a little more respect for the fact that they're struggling. (APPLAUSE) It doesn't mean we shouldn't be controlling the border. That's exactly what we should be doing.

MAJOR GARRETT: Mr. Trump?

MR. DONALD TRUMP: Look, (CHEERING) when I announced that I was running for president on June 16th, illegal immigration wasn't even a subject. If I didn't bring it up, (CHEERING) you wouldn't even be talking

Let me talk. Now (BOOS) I don't often agree with Marco, and I don't often agree with Ted, but I can in this case. The weakest person on this stage by far on illegal immigration is Jeb Bush. They come out (CROWD REACTS) out of an act of love

GOV. JEB BUSH: What--

(OVERTALK)

MR. DONALD TRUMP: --whether you like it or not. He is so weak on illegal immigration it's laughable. And everybody knows it.

GOV. JEB BUSH: So, you know, this-- (BELL) this-- this-- this is the standard operating procedure, to disparage me. That's fine--

(OVERTALK)

GOV. JEB BUSH: --I'll--

MR. DONALD TRUMP: Spend a little more money on the commercials.

(OVERTALK)

GOV. JEB BUSH: But if you wanna (CROWD REACTS) talk about weakness, (CHEERING) you wanna talk about weakness, it's weak to disparage women. It's weak--

MR. DONALD TRUMP: I don't do that.

GOV. JEB BUSH: --to disparage Hispanics. (CHEERING)

MR. DONALD TRUMP: I don't disparage--

(OVERTALK)

GOV. JEB BUSH: It's weak-- it's weak to denigrate the disabled. And it's really weak to call John McCain a loser 'cause he was a POW--

MR. DONALD TRUMP: I never called him-- now, don't put that--

(OVERTALK)

GOV. JEB BUSH: That is outrageous. That's an American hero. (CHEERING)

MR. DONALD TRUMP

also said--

GOV. JEB BUSH: I've laid out my plans--

MR. DONALD TRUMP: --said about language--

GOV. JEB BUSH: --about immigration--

MR. DONALD TRUMP: --language-- two days ago he said he would take his pants off (BOO) and moon everybody. And that's fine. Nobody reports that. He gets up and says that and then (CROWD REACTS) tells me, "Oh, my language was a little bit rough."

KIMBERLY STRASSEL: Okay. MR. DONALD TRUMP: My language.

(OVERTALK)

MAJOR GARRETT: Governor Kasich.

MR. DONALD TRUMP: Give me a break.

MAJOR GARRETT: Governor Kasich. Governor Kasich. Here in South Carolina earlier this week you said the idea, the concept of deporting 11 million

(OVERTALK)

MAJOR GARRETT: --undocumented workers here.

GOV. JEB BUSH: Make sure my mother is listening and she is watching the debate -

(OVERTALK)

GOV. JEB BUSH: --I didn't say I was going to go out and moon somebody--

MR. DONALD TRUMP: I did say it--

(GOV. JEB BUSH: UNINTEL)

MR. DONALD TRUMP: We did say it. (LAUGHTER)

MR. DONALD TRUMP: It's reported in 10 different newspapers

MAJOR GARRETT: We will leave the moon metaphors to be adjudicated later, I assure you. (LAUGHTER) Governor Kasich. You said earlier this week in South Carolina, the concept, the idea of deporting 11 million undocumented workers in this country is nuts. Why is it you are so opposed to that idea? Senator Cruz has said it's a simple application of existing law. The application of that is not inhumane. It is just. Why do you disagree?

GOV. JOHN KASICH: Yeah, before I get to that, this is the 9th or the 10th debate. And what I've been watching here, this back and forth, and these attacks, some of them are personal. I think we're fixin' to lose the election to Hillary qui-- Clinton if we don't stop this. (CHEERING) I mean the fact is-- you know what I would suggest? Why don't we just take all the negative ads and all the negative comments down from television and let us just talk about what we're for and let's sell that. And the Republican Party will be (CHEERING) stronger as a result. Now, back--

MAJOR GARRETT: What are you for on immigration?

GOV. JOHN KASICH: Major, you know this

GOV. JOHN KASICH: Now, this-- look, first of all, I'm for sealin' the border. Okay? And then I'm for a guest worker program. People can come in, work and go back home. We haven't closed the border because special interests, I believe, blocked it. Then we have 11.5 million people here. If they have not committed a crime since they've been here, make 'em pay a fine and some back taxes and give 'em a path to legalization, never to citizenship. It is not-- (BOOS) it is not gonna happen that we're gonna (CROWD REACTS) run around and-- and-- and try to drag 11 and a half million people out of their homes. I'll tell you this. Within the first 100 days I will send a plan like this to the Congress of the United States and if I'm President I'll bet ya dollars to doughnuts (BELL) right now, it will pass. That is a reasonable proposal that the people of this country, in my judgment, will support. And so will the bulk of the Congress of the United States. (CHEERING)

KIMBERLY STRASSEL: Moving subjects. Dr. Carson. This week Morgan Stanley agreed to pay a $3.2 billion fine to state and federal authorities for contributing to the mortgage crisis. You have a lot of Democrats out saying that we should be jailing more executives. So two questions. Should financial executives be held legally responsible for financial crashes? And do you think fines like these are an effective way to deter companies from future behavior like that?

DR. BEN CARSON: Well, first of all, please go to my website, BenCarson.com, and read my immigration policy. (LAUGHTER) Okay? Because it actually makes sense. Now, the-- as-- as far as these-- fines are concerned, (CLAPPING) you know, here's the big problem. We've got all these government regulators and all they're doing is running around looking for people to fine. And we've got 645 different federal agencies and sub-agencies. Way, way too many. And they don't have anything else to do. I think what we really need to do is start trimming the regulatory agencies rather than going after the people who are trying to in-- (CLAPPING) increase the viability, economic viability, of our society. Now, that doesn't mean that there aren't some people out there who are doing bad things. But I'm not sure that the way to solve that problem is by increasing all the regulatory burden. You know, when you consider how much regulations cost us each year, you know, $2 trillion per family. $24,000 for a family. That happens to be the same level as the poverty level (BELL) for a family of four. You wanna get rid of poverty? Get rid of all the regulations. (APPLAUSE)

JOHN DICKERSON: Senator-- Senator Cruz, I have a question for you. Speaker Paul Ryan has made a big commitment to tryin' to lift the 50 million poor out of poverty. And-- Arthur Brooks, who is the president of the American enterprise institute, says, quote, "If we are not warriors for the poor every day, free enterprise has no matter." How have you been in your campaign a warrior for the poor?

SEN. TED CRUZ: I think it is a very important question because the people who have been hurt the most in the Obama economy have been the most vulnerable. It's been young people. It's been Hispanics. It's been African Americans. It's been single moms. We have the lowest percentage of Americans working today in any year since 1977. And the sad reality is big government, massive taxes, massive regulation doesn't work. What we need to do instead is bring back booming economic growth. Let-- small businesses are the heart of the economy. 2/3 of all new jobs come from small businesses. If we wanna lift people out of poverty-- you know, I think of these issues from the perspective of my dad. My dad fled Cuba in 1957. He was just 18. He couldn't speak English. He had nothing and $100 in his underwear. And he washed dishes makin' 50 cents an hour and paid his way through school. Today, my dad is a pastor. He travels the country preachin' the gospel. Now, I think about all of these issues, how would it impact my dad when he was washing dishes. If we had Obamacare in place right now the odds are very high my father would have been laid off because it's teenage kids like my dad (BELL) who have gotten laid off. If he didn't get laid off, the odds are high he would have had his hours forcibly reduced to 28, 29 hours in-- a week. We need to lift the burdens off small--

SEN. TED CRUZ: --businesses so you you have jobs. And we need welfare reform to get people off of (BELL welfare and back to work.

MAJOR GARRETT: Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump. (CHEERING) I was with you in Pendleton, South Carolina earlier this week at the rodeo arena. It was a bit chilly there. You promised the crowd, and their rose to their feet, that if Ford or a company like it were to move a factory to Mexico, you would try to stop it or threaten them with a 35% tax or tariff on every car sold.

MR. DONALD TRUMP: Or a tax. Yes.

MAJOR GARRETT: Right. So my question is based on your understanding of the presidency, were do you derive that power? Would you need the consent of Congress to go along? (LAUGHTER) And do you see the presidency as a perch from which you can cajole and/or threaten private industry to do something you think is better for the U.S. Economy?

MR. DONALD TRUMP: I would build consensus with Congress and Congress would agree with me. I'll give you an example, (APPLAUSE) because I don't like the idea of using executive orders like our president. It is a disaster, what he's doing. I would build consensus. But consensus means you have to work hard. You have to cajole. You have to get them into the Oval Office and get them all together and you have to make deals. Let me just tell you, I mentioned before, China, big Chinese company bought the Chicago Exchange. Carrier's moving. And if you saw the people-- because they have a video of the announcement that Carrier is moving to Mexico. Okay? Well, I'll tell you what. I would go right now to Carrier and I would say, "I am gonna work awfully hard. You're gonna make air conditioners now in Mexico. You're gonna get all of these 1,400 people that are being laid off--" they're laid off. They were crying. They were-- it's a very sad situation. "You're gonna go to Mexico. You're gonna make air conditioners in Mexico. You're gonna put them across our border with no tax?" I'm gonna tell them right now I am gonna get consensus from Congress and we're gonna tax you when those air conditioners come. So stay where you are or build in the United States." Because we are killing ourselves (BELL) with trade pacts that are no good for us and no good for our workers. (APPLAUSE)

JOHN DICKERSON: All right, Mr. Trump. Thank you so much. We're gonna take a break for a moment. We'll be back in a moment with your CBS News Republican Debate. (MUSIC)

JOHN DICKERSON: We're back now from Greenville, South Carolina with the candidates for the Republican presidential nomination. Mr. Trump, I have a question for you. Presidents have to, on the one hand, be firm, but also be flexible. You've been flexible and changed your opinion on a number of things from abortion to Hillary Clinton. But you said, rightly, that it's just like Ronald Reagan, who changed his mind on things. But at the same time, you're criticizing Senator Cruz for what you say is a change on immigration. He disputes that, of course. So why is your change of opinion make you like Reagan, and when he changes his (LAUGHTER) opinion it's a huge character flaw?

MR. DONALD TRUMP: John, in life, you have flexibility. You do have flexibility. When you're fighting wars, you're going one way, you have a plan. It's a beautiful plan. It can't lose. The enemy makes a change, and all of a sudden, you have to change. You have to have flexibility. In Ronald Reagan, though, in terms of what we're talking about, was the great example. He was a somewhat liberal Democrat who became a somewhat pretty strong conservative. He became-- most importantly, he became a great president. He made many of the changes that I've met. I mean I've seen-- as I grew up, I've seen, and as I get older and wiser, and I feel that I am a conservative. Now, I also feel I'm a common sense conservative. Because some of the views I don't agree with. And I think a lot of people agree with me, obviously, based on what's happening.

JOHN DICKERSON: Which conservative-- idea don't you agree with?

MR. DONALD TRUMP: Well, I think-- these people always hit me with eminent domain. And frankly, I'm not in love with eminent domain, but eminent domain is something that you need very strongly. When Jeb had said, "You used eminent domain privately for a parking lot," it wasn't for a parking lot. The state of New Jersey, too bad Chris Christie's not here, he could tell you, the state of New Jersey want to build a very large tower that was going to employ thousands of people. I mean it was going to really do a big job in terms of economic development. Now, just so you understand, I got hit very hard. But it's private. It's private eminent domain. You understand that they took over a (BELL) stadium in Texas, and they used private eminent domain.

JOHN DICKERSON: Okay.

MR. DONALD TRUMP: But he just found that out after he made the charge.

JOHN DICKERSON: All right. Governor Bush, think by "they" he's referring to your brother.

GOV. JEB BUSH: Yeah.

JOHN DICKERSON: You're on the hook for your brother.

MR. DONALD TRUMP: Well, Jeb wouldn't have known about it.

GOV. JEB BUSH: So there-- so there's a-- there's-- there's all sorts of-- intrigue about where I disagree with my brother. There'd be one right there. You should not use eminent domain for private purposes, a-- baseball stadium, or a parking (LAUGHTER) lot for limos--

(OVERTALK)

MR. DONALD TRUMP: You shouldn't have used it, then, Jeb.

(OVERTALK)

GOV. JEB BUSH: --transmission lines, pipelines, bridges, highways, all of that is proper use of eminent domain, not to take an elderly woman's home to build a parking lot so that high rollers can come from New York City to failed casinos in Atlantic City. That is not the (CHEERING) appropriate thing to do.

JOHN DICKERSON: Senator, hold on. Senator Cruz, you were mentioned in the mix here. Your response?

SEN. TED CRUZ: You know, flexibility-- is a good thing. But it shouldn't-- you shouldn't be flexible on core principles. I like Donald. (APPLAUSE) He is an amazing entertainer. But his policies for most of his life--

MR. DONALD TRUMP: Thank-- thank you very much, I appreciate it.

SEN. TED CRUZ: For most of his life, his policies have been very, very liberal. For most of his life, he has described himself as very pro-choice, and-- as a supporter of partial-birth abortion. Right now today as a candidate, he supports federal taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood. I disagree with him on that. That's a matter of principle. And I'll-- and I'll be--

(OVERTALK)

MR. DONALD TRUMP: You are the single biggest liar, you probably are worse than Jeb Bush. (CROWD NOISE) You are the single biggest liar. (CHEERING)

JOHN DICKERSON: All right.

MR. DONALD TRUMP: This guy lies. Let me just tell you, this guy lied about Ben Carson, when he took votes away from Ben Carson (CHEERING) in Iowa. And he just continued. And today, we had robo calls saying, "Donald Trump is not going to run in South Carolina," where I'm leading by a lot. I'm not gonna run. "Vote-- vote for Ted Cruz." This is the same thing he did to Ben Carson. This guy will say anything. Nasty guy. Now I know why he doesn't have one endorsement from--

JOHN DICKERSON: All right.

MR. DONALD TRUMP: --any of his colleagues--

(OVERTALK)

SEN. TED CRUZ: All right, Jo-- John,--

(OVERTALK)

SEN. TED CRUZ: I get to respond.

JOHN DICKERSON: Alright Senator Cruz pick from the buffet there.

MR. DONALD TRUMP: He's a nasty guy.

GOV. JEB BUSH

I'm next because he mentioned me as well

SEN. TED CRUZ: Well, I-- I-- I will say--

(OVERTALK) (CHEERING)

SEN. TED CRUZ: I-- I will say 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 off

were offensive and wrong. But-- but lemme say--

(OVERTALK)

MR. DONALD TRUMP: I just quoted his book.

SEN. TED CRUZ: --you noticed Donald didn't-- disagree with the substance that he supports taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood. And Donald has this weird pattern. When you point to his own record, he screams, "Liar, liar, liar." If you want to go and one--

MR. DONALD TRUMP: Where did I support it? Where did I support it?

SEN. TED CRUZ: If you want to go and--

(OVERTALK)

MR. DONALD TRUMP: Hey Ted! Where did I support it?

SEN. TED CRUZ: If you wanna go and watch the video, go to our website--

MR. DONALD TRUMP: Hey, Ted!

SEN. TED CRUZ: --TedCruz.org.

MR. DONALD TRUMP: Where did I support it Ted?

SEN. TED CRUZ: You can see it out of Donald's--

(OVERTALK)

SEN. TED CRUZ: --own mouth. When we--

(OVERTALK)

MR. DONALD TRUMP: Where did I support it?

SEN. TED CRUZ: You supported it when we were battling over de-funding Planned Parenthood, you went on television--

MR. DONALD TRUMP: That's a lot of nonense

(OVERTALK)

SEN. TED CRUZ: --said, "Planned Parenthood does wonderful things, and we should not de-fund--

(OVERTALK)

MR. DONALD TRUMP: Oh it does do wonderful things.

SEN. TED CRUZ: And-- and-- and--

MR. DONALD TRUMP: --but not as it relates to abortion.

SEN. TED CRUZ: So tell me, what are the wonderful things--

MR. DONALD TRUMP: They do-- excuse me.

SEN. TED CRUZ: What are the wonderful things it does?

MR. DONALD TRUMP: Excuse me. There are wonderful things having to do with women's health.

SEN. TED CRUZ: You see, you and I disagree on that.

MR. DONALD TRUMP: But not when it comes to abortion.

SEN. TED CRUZ: That's-- and-- and--

(OVERTALK)

MR. DONALD TRUMP: Not when it comes to abortion.

(OVERTALK)

SEN. TED CRUZ: --John-- John, the reason principle matters-

MR. DONALD TRUMP

--and that's where it matters--

SEN. TED CRUZ:

John--John--John--the reason principle matters--the reason principle matters, sadly, was illustrated by the first questions today. The next president is gonna appoint one, two, three, four Supreme Court justices.

(OVERTALK)

SEN. TED CRUZ: If Donald Trump is president, he will appoint liberals.

MR. DONALD TRUMP: Excuse me.

SEN. TED CRUZ: If Donald Trump is president--

MR. DONALD TRUMP: Excuse me.

(OVERTALK)

SEN. TED CRUZ: --your Second Amendment will go away--

(OVERTALK) (CHEERING)

JOHN DICKERSON: Hold on, gentlemen. Hold on, gentleman. Hold on, genetleman. I'm gonna turn this car around.

MR. DONALD TRUMP: --John Roberts, Ted Cruz, with your brother, wanted John Roberts to be in the United States Supreme Court. They both pushed him. He twice approved Obamacare.

JOHN DICKERSON: All right, gentleman.

(OVERTALK)

JOHN DICKERSON: Hold on, hold on.

DR. BEN CARSON: --where his name was mentioned twice.

JOHN DICKERSON: Well hold on, we're gonna--

(OVERTALK)

JOHN DICKERSON: Gentlemen, we're in-- we're in danger of driving this into the dirt.

MR. DONALD TRUMP: You gave us--

JOHN DICKERSON: Senator Rubio, I'd like you to-- do you wanna jump in here?

GOV. JEB BUSH: Just called me-- a liar.

JOHN DICKERSON: I understand. You'll-- you're on deck, governor.

(OVERTALK)

GOV. JEB BUSH: He also denigrated one of my heroes Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan was a liberal maybe in the 1950s. He was a conservative reform governor for eight years before he became president. And no one would suggest he made an evolution for political purposes. (CHEERING) He was a conservative, and he didn't tear down people like Donald Trump does.

MR. DONALD TRUMP: All right.

GOV. JEB BUSH: He tore down the Berlin Wall.

JOHN DICKERSON: Okay, governor--

(OVERTALK)

GOV. JEB BUSH: And he is a great guy. (CHEERING)

JOHN DICKERSON: Governor-- (CHEERING) Senator Cruz, 30-- 30 seconds on this one.

SEN. TED CRUZ: I did not nominate John Roberts. I would not have nominated John Roberts.

MR. DONALD TRUMP: You pushed him. You pushed him.

SEN. TED CRUZ: I-- I supported him--

(OVERTALK)

MR. DONALD TRUMP: You worked with him and you pushed him.

(OVERTALK)

MR. DONALD TRUMP: Why do you lie?

SEN. TED CRUZ: Donald. Donald--

(OVERTALK)

MR. DONALD TRUMP: Why do you lie?

(OVERTALK)

MR. DONALD TRUMP: Why do you lie?

SEN. TED CRUZ: Donald you need to learn not to interrupt each other.

MR. DONALD TRUMP: You pushed him.

SEN. TED CRUZ: Donald, adults learn not to interrupt each other.

MR. DONALD TRUMP: Yeah, yeah I know, you're an adult. (LAUGHTER) You're an adult.

SEN. TED CRUZ: I did not nominate him. I would not have nominated him. I would have nominated my former boss, Mike Luttig, who was Justice Scalia's first law clerk. And you know how I know that Donald's Supreme Court justices will be liberals? Because--

MR. DONALD TRUMP: You don't know.

SEN. TED CRUZ: --his entire life, he supported liberals, from Jimmy Carter to Hillary Clinton to John Kerry. In 2004 (BELL)--

JOHN DICKERSON: All right, all right.

SEN. TED CRUZ: --he contributed to John Kerry.

(OVERTALK)

SEN. TED CRUZ: Nobody who cares about judges would contribute--

JOHN DICKERSON: All right.

SEN. TED CRUZ: --to John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid.

JOHN DICKERSON: We're gonna switch--

SEN. TED CRUZ: That's what Donald Trump has done--

(OVERTALK)(CHEERING)

JOHN DICKERSON: Governor, we're gonna switch gears here. Marc-- Senator Marco Rubio--

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: Yes, sir.

JOHN DICKERSON: Senator Marco Rubio, please way in

(OVERTALK)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: On anything I want?

(OVERTALK)

JOHN DICKERSON: Oh, I thought you had--

(OVERTALK)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: Lemme talk about poverty.

JOHN DICKERSON: I thought you had a point you wanted to make, too.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: No, I do--

(OVERTALK)

DR. BEN CARSON: That's-- that was me.

(OVERTALK)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: And that's something that's important.

(OVERTALK)

DR. BEN CARSON: I think-- I think that was me that had a--

JOHN DICKERSON: You're on the on deck circle, sir

DR. BEN CARSON:

(CHUCKLE) Okay.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: You know, this-- the issue of poverty's critical. Because for me, poverty is the-- is-- is free enterprise not reaching people. Today we have anti-poverty programs that don't cure poverty. We don't cure poverty in America. Our anti-poverty programs have become, in some instances, a way of life, a lifestyle. Now, we do need anti-poverty programs. You can't have free enterprise without 'em. But not as a way of life. And so I have a very specific proposal on this. And I don't-- in 60 seconds, I can't describe it all. But it basically turns the program over to states. It allows states to design innovative programs that cure poverty. (APPLAUSE) Because I think Nikki Haley will do a better job curing poverty than Barack Obama.

JOHN DICKERSON: Senator, I wanted to ask you-- going back to immigrantion-- in the last debate, you listed your series of accomplishments in the Senate. One thing you left off was-- was immigration reform. Is it-- the case that, in your list of accomplishments, you can't mention that?

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: Well, no. It's not the case. It didn't pass. And we haven't solved immigration in this country. It's still a problem. It is worse today than it was three years ago, which is worse than it was five years ago. And it has to be confronted and solved. But the only way forward on this issue, you asked a question about flexibility. Lemme tell you about that. One of the things that you need in leadership is the ability to understand that, to get things done, you must figure out the way to get it done. You will not pass comprehensive immigration reform. People do not trust the federal government. They want to see the law being enforced. They want to see illegal immigration come under control. They wanna see that wall. They wanna see eVerify. They want to see all of these things working. And then they will have a conversation with you about what do you do with people that have been here-- a long time that are otherwise, you know, not criminals. But they're not going to do it until you first enforce the law.

JOHN DICKERSON: Dr. Carson, I have a-- (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE) Dr. Carson, I have a question for you.Candidates--

(OVERTALK)

DR. BEN CARSON: Be-- before you ask the question, can I respond to the-- you know, they mentioned my name a couple of times.

JOHN DICKERSON: All right. You have 30 seconds, Doctor.

DR. BEN CARSON: All right. Well, first of all, you know, so many people have said to me, "You need to scream and jump and down-- jump up and down like everybody else." Is that really what you want, what we just saw? I don't think so. And, you know, I-- (APPLAUSE) when I got into this race, I decided to look under the hood of the engine of what runs Washington D.C. And my first inclination was to run away. But I didn't do it because I'm thinking about our children and the fact that we are the United States of America. And anybody up here's gonna be much better than what's gonna come on the other side. And-- and what happened tonight with-- with-- Justice Scalia tells you that we cannot afford to lose this election, and we cannot be tearing each other down. (APPLAUSE)

JOHN DICKERSON: Dr. Carson, I-- (CHEERING) lemme ask you-- a different question. When you were-- you were the first one, really, to talk about political correctness. Everybody now talks about it. But that was really what sparked your-- your rise. Politicians are often accused of glossing over any hard choices people have to make, just always selling happy, nice things. So in the-- in the spirit of saying something that might be politically incorrect, tell the voters something that they need to hear but that might be political incorrect.

DR. BEN CARSON: Well first of all, I'm not a politician. So I'm never gonna become a politician. But here's what-- here's what people need to know. People need to know that free college is not-- is a non-starter. You know, you have to look at our economic situation. We're on the verge of economic collapse. And, you know, we're-- it's not just the $19 trillion. But it's also the $200 trillion in un-funded liability. But what we need to think about is what does that do to the average person. When we have a debt of that nature it causes the Fed to change their policy. It causes the Central Bank to keep the-- the-- the rates low. And who does that affect? Mr. Average, who used to go to the bank every Friday and put part of his check in the bank and watch it grow over three decades and be able to retire with a nice nest egg. That's gone. That part of the American dream is gone. All of these things are disappearing. And Bernie Sanders and people like Hillary Clinton-- and blame it on the rich. They say, "Those evil rich people, if we take their money, we can solve the problem." It's not the evil rich people, it's the (BELL) irresponsible evil government.

JOHN DICKERSON: All right. (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE) Governor Kasich-- Governor Kasich, you've been described as the Democrat's favorite Republican. You talked about in New Hampshire, Democrats would come up to-- you and say, "I hope you win." Why will that help you win a Republican nomination?

GOV. JOHN KASICH: You know, John, I think all people are the same. Look, I did 106 town halls. And I've been doin' 'em left and right here in South Carolina. But the first thing we have to do is grow the economy. And-- and I know the formula because I was chairman in Washington when we balanced the budget and created so many jobs. And the same-- we've been able to do in Ohio. You need common sense regulations so small business can flourish. You need lower taxes, both on businesses and individuals. And you need a fiscal plan to be able to get ourselves in the situation where people can predict a little bit about the future when it comes to the fiscal issues. And when you have that formula, combined with workforce that's trained, you can explode the economy and create many jobs. I've done it twice. And I wanna go back to Washington and do it again. John, the thing is-- is that I think that-- there are people now, these blue collar Democrats-- my dad was a blue collar Democrat-- the Democratic Party's left them. When they're arguing about being socialists, they've left-- they've lost those-- those blue collar Democrats. And you know what I think they get outta me is my sense of what they get outta me. And it's the-- embarrassment about campaigns. You brag about yourself. (BELL) But I think I'm a uniter. I think people sense it. I think they know I have the experience and that I'm a man that can give people hope and the sense that they have an opportunity to rise. And I tell you, I love (BELL) these blue collar Democrats 'cause they're gonna vote for us come next fall, promise you that. (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE)

JOHN DICKERSON: Mr. Trump, lemme ask you a question. Presidents in both parties say that the one thing you need in-- in your administration is somebody who can tell you you're wrong. You don't necessarily seem like somebody who has somebody who tells you you're wrong a lot. (LAUGHTER) Can you tell us of an instance where somebody said, "Donald Trump, you're wrong," and you listened to them? (CLEARS THROAT)

MR. DONALD TRUMP: Well, I would say my wife tells me I'm wrong all the time, and I listen. (LAUGHTER)

JOHN DICKERSON: About what?

MR. DONALD TRUMP: Oh, lemme just say-- look. I am very open. I hire top people. I've had great success. I've built a great, great company. I don't need to do this. I'm self funding. I'm spending a lot of money. I've spent-- like in New Hampshire, I spent $3 million. Jeb Bush spent $44 million. He came in five and I came in number one. That's what the country needs, folks. I spent three, he spends 42 of their money, of special interest money. And it's just-- this is not gonna make-- excuse me. This is not gonna make our country great again. This is not what we need in our country. We need people that know what the hell they're doing. And politicians, they're all talk, they're no action. And that's why people are supporting me. I do listen to people. I hire experts. I hire top, top people. And I do listen. And you know what? Sometimes they're wrong. You have to know what to do, when to do it.

(OVERTALK)

MR. DONALD TRUMP: But sometimes they're wrong.

JOHN DICKERSON: Something, in talking to voters that they wish somebody would tell you to cut it out is the profanity. What's your reaction to that?

MR. DONALD TRUMP: Well-- (CHEERING) I tell you-- (APPLAUSE) over the years, I've made many speeches. People have asked me, big companies have asked me to make speeches, and friends of mine that run big companies, on success. And on occasion, in order to sort of-- really highlight something, I use a profanity. One of the profanities that I got-- credited with using that I didn't use was a very bad word, two weeks ago, that I never used. I said, "You." And everybody said, "Oh, he didn't say anything wrong." But you bleeped it. So everyone thinks I said the w-- I didn't say anything. I never said the word. It is very unfair, that criticism. Now, I will say this-- with all of that being said, (BELL) I have said I will not do it at all. Because if I say a word that's a little bit of color, a little bit, it ends up being a headline. I will not do it again. I was a very good student at a great school, not using-- by the way, not using profanity (BELL) is very easy.

JOHN DICKERSON: All right. Okay, Governor-- Bush, I'd like to--

GOV. JEB BUSH: Yeah, I gotta respond to this.

JOHN DICKERSON: Well, can I-- how 'bout you respond, and then you can answer the-- question I'm about to ask you.

GOV. JEB BUSH: Sounds like a good plan.

JOHN DICKERSON: It'll be--

(OVERTALK)

GOV. JEB BUSH: Or you could ask me two questions so I could get two minutes instead of one. JOHN DICKERSON: If we adjudicate this, the night'll be over. Governor, in 2012, you said that your father and Ronald Reagan would have a hard time in today's Republican Party, based on their records of trying to find accommodation and finding some degree of common ground. Do you still feel that way?

GOV. JEB BUSH: I think that the dysfunction in Washington is really dangerous. That's what I think. And we need a proven leader that has a record of solving problems, someone who doesn't cut and run. Someone who could be a commander in chief to unite-- our country around common purposes, someone who doesn't disparage people, someone that doesn't brag, for example, that he's been bankrupt four times and it was great because he could-- (OVERTALK)

GOV. JEB BUSH: --use the legal system.

MR. DONALD TRUMP: Let-- let me respond.

GOV. JEB BUSH: Someone who--

(OVERTALK)

MR. DONALD TRUMP: That's another lie.

(OVERTALK)

MR. DONALD TRUMP: I never went bankrupt.

JOHN DICKERSON: Hold on, Mr. Trump.

(OVERTALK)

MR. DONALD TRUMP: It's another lie.

JOHN DICKERSON: But, hold on.

(OVERTALK)

MR. DONALD TRUMP: But it's a lie. He doesn't know what he's talking about

(OVERTALK)

GOV. JEB BUSH: We need someone with a proven record--

MR. DONALD TRUMP: This is a lie.

GOV. JEB BUSH: --to be able to forge consensus to solve problems. And right now, both Republicans and Democrats in Washington don't get it. People are struggling. 63% of Americans can't make a $500 car payment. Most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. And we need someone who has a proven record of growing the economy, reforming the things that are broken, and I'm that person.

JOHN DICKERSON: Okay, Mr. Trump, your response. (CHEERING)

MR. DONALD TRUMP: Let-- let me just say-- Jeb goes around saying-- just like the biggest business leaders in this country, I've used the laws of the land to chapter-- I bought a company, I threw it immediately into a chapter, I made a great deal. I used the laws to my benefit, because I run a company.

(OVERTALK)

MR. DONALD TRUMP: I never went bankrupt. Excuse me, Jeb.

GOV. JEB BUSH: Yeah.

MR. DONALD TRUMP: I never went bankrupt, never. Now-- but you don't wanna say that. Now lemme just say, I've used it just like the biggest leaders in the country. Lemme just tell you something, Florida. Florida, he put so much debt on Florida. You know, we keep saying he's a wonderful governor, a wonderful gov-- he put so much debt on Florida. And he increased spending so much that, as soon as he got out of office, Florida crashed. I happened to be there. It's my second home. (CROWD NOISE) Florida crashed. (CHEERING)

GOV. JEB BUSH: Yeah, here we go.

MR. DONALD TRUMP: He didn't do a good job as governor.

(OVERTALK)

MR. DONALD TRUMP: And you haven't-- excuse me. You haven't heard that. You listened to the good record in Florida. You take a look at what happened. As soon as that year ended, he got out-- (BELL) Florida crashed. Too much debt, he-- he loaded it up with debt. And his spending went through the roof.

(OVERTALK)

JOHN DICKERSON: Please Mr. Trump. The bells are ringing, sir.

MR. DONALD TRUMP: By the way, he was not a good governor.

GOV. JEB BUSH: Here's--

JOHN DICKERSON: Jeb.

GOV. JEB BUSH: --here's-- here's the record. (CHEERING) Here's the record. We led the nation in job growth seven out of eight years. When I left, there was $9 billion of reserves, 35% of general revenue. No state had--came close to that.

(OVERTALK)

MR. DONALD TRUMP: Take a look at these numbers.

GOV. JEB BUSH: When I-- during my time, we were one of two states to go to triple A bond rating. We didn't go bankrupt like Trump did and call it success when people are laid off when vendors don't get paid. That's not success. (CHEERING) What we did was create an environment where people had a chance to have income. Personal income during my time went up by 4.4%.

MR. DONALD TRUMP: Florida went--

(OVERTALK)

JOHN DICKERSON: All right.

MR. DONALD TRUMP: --down the tubes right after he got out of office.

GOV. JEB BUSH: --government group--

(OVERTALK)

GOV. JEB BUSH: The government group I have with that.

MR. DONALD TRUMP: --what he did do.

JOHN DICKERSON: All right. Thank you, Mi-- Senator Rubio, I wanna ask you a-- 30 second question. No president--

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: 30 seconds. (CHUCKLE)

JOHN DICKERSON: --no, well-- I'll ask the question, you do what you want.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: I'll speak fast. (LAUGHTER)

JOHN DICKERSON: No president can know-- no president can know everything, right? So a smart leader knows how to ask questions. So if you could talk to any previous president, what's the smart question you would ask about that job that you'd wanna know?

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: Well, I think-- one of the presidents-- well the-- president I grew up under was Ronald Reagan. And Reagan had a vision for America's future. And if you think about what Ronald Reagan inherited is not unlike what the next president is going to inherit. This is the worst president we've had in 35 years. 35 years back would have made it Jimmy carter. That's what Ronald Reagan inherited. (APPLAUSE) And I think the question you would ask is, "How did you inspire again the American people to believe in the future? How would you-- how did you-- what-- did it take to insure that the American people, despite all of the difficulties of the time?" You know, you look back at that time, the American military was in decline. Our standing in the world was in decline. We had hostages being held in Iran. Our economy was in bad shape. The American people were scared about the future. They were scared about what kind of country their children were going to live in and inherit. And yet, somehow, Ronald Reagan was able the instill in our nation and in our people a sense of optimism. And he turned America around because of that vision and ultimately because of that leadership. I wish-- Ronald Reagan was still around. This country needs someone just like that. And any-- if-- if our next president is even half the president Ronald Reagan was, America is going to be greater than it's ever been

JOHN DICKERSON: All right, that's going to have to be it there. (CHEERING) Senator Rubio, we've gotta go to a break. We'll be right back with the CBS News Republican Debate in Greenville, South Carolina. (MUSIC) (LONG PAUSE)

JOHN DICKERSON: Time now for closing statements. You will each have one minute. And we'll begin with Governor Kasich.

GOV. JOHN KASICH: Well, I wanna thank the people of South Carolina. You've been fantastic. And-- look, what I want you to know is I'm gonna send a lot of power, money and influence back to where we all live. But as I've traveled around South Carolina, I-- I've noticed something. You know, it's that people have a sense that you're not gonna wait on a president. You know, when I was a kid, we didn't wait on presidents to come to that little blue collar town and fix things. You know, 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 will 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. It's-- it's 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 say off of drugs. You see, I think what the Lord wants us for us to engage. And in America, the spirit of America doesn't come from the top, down, the spirit of America rests in us. And I wanna call on everyone in America to double down and realize that you were made special to heal this country and lift it for everyone. Thank you all very much, and I hope I can have your vote in South Carolina. (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE)

JOHN DICKERSON: Doctor-- Dr. Carson-- Dr. Carson, you're next.

DR. BEN CARSON: This is the first generation not expected to do better than their parents. Some people say it's the new normal. But there's nothing normal about it in an exceptional American. I, like you-- am a member of "we the people." And we know that our country is heading off the cliff. Joseph Stalin said, "If you wanna bring America down, you have to undermine three things: Our spiritual life, our patriotism and our morality." 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. You know, 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 will get somebody who is accountable to everybody and beholden to no one. Thank you. (APPLAUSE) (CHEERING)

JOHN DICKERSON: Governor-- Governor Bush?

GOV. JEB BUSH: Thank you all very much. The next President's gonna be confronted with an unforeseen challenge. That's almost certain. It could be a pandemic, a major natural disaster or an attack on our country. The question for South Carolinians and Americans is who do you wanna have sittin' on the-- behind the big desk in the Oval Office? Because that's the question. It's not the things that we're talking about today, it's the big-- the great challenge that may happen. I believe I will have a steady hand as commander in chief and President of the United States. I will unite this country around common purposes. Because I did it as governor of the state of Florida. When I was governor, we had eight hurricanes and four tropical storms in 16 months. Our state was on its back. We recovered far faster than what people thought because we led. We ran to the challenge rather than cutting and running. That's what we need in Washington D.C.. We need someone with a servant's heart that has a backbone that isn't gonna focus on polls and focus groups, it's gonna focus on the American people to keep them safe and secure. I ask for your vote next Saturday. (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE)

JOHN DICKERSON: Senator? Now-- Senator-- Marco Rubio.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: Thank you. Thank you for watching tonight. This is a difficult time in our country. Our economy's 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. Iran captures our sailors and parades them before the world on video. These are difficult times. But 2016 can be a turning point. That's why I'm running for president. That's why I'm here today to ask you for your vote. If you elect me president, we are going to-- re-embrace free enterprise so that everyone can go as far as their talent and their work will take them. We are going to be a country that says that life begins at conception and life is worthy of the protection of our laws. We're gonna be a country that says that marriage is between one man and one woman. And we are going to be a country that says the constitution and the rights that it-- that it talks about do not come from our president, they come from our creator. And we are going to be loyal to our allies like Israel, not enemies like Iran. And we will rebuild the U.S. military so no one will dare test it. Vote for me. I will unify (BELL) this party, I will grow it. We will win this election, and we will make the 21st century a new American century. (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE)

JOHN DICKERSON: Senator-- Senator Cruz? (CHEERING) Senator-- Senator Cruz, your closing statement?

SEN. TED CRUZ: South Carolina, you have a critical choice to make. Our country literally hangs in the balance. Do you want another Washington deal maker 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? Listen, repealing Obamacare is not gonna be easy. Passing a simple flat tax and abolishing the I.R.S. is not gonna be easy. But if we stand with the American people, we can do it. And today we saw just how grave the stakes are. Two branches of government hang in the balance, not just the presidency, but the Supreme Court. 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. My little girls are here. I don't wanna look my daughters in the eyes and say we lost their liberties. Who do you know will defend the constitution and Bill of Rights? And as the commander in chief, who do you know will stand up to our enemies as the calm, steady, deliberate strength to defeat our enemies, (BELL) to secure the border and to keep America safe? (APPLAUSE) (CHEERING)

(OVERTALK)

JOHN DICKERSON: All right, Mr. Trump, your closing statement.

MR. DONALD TRUMP: Thank you. (APPLAUSE) Politicians are all talk, no action. You've seen where they've taken you to. We owe $19 trillion 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. I say this every night, every day, every afternoon. And it's so true. We don't win anymore. We don't win with health care. We don't win with ISIS and the military. We don't take care of our vets, we don't take care of our borders. We don't win. We're going to start winning again. We are not going to be controlled by people that are special interests and lobbyists that everybody here has contributed to. And you know what? They do exactly what those folks want 'em to do. We're gonna make our country great, and we're gonna do the right thing. I'm working for you, I'm not working for anybody else. Thank you very much.

JOHN DICKERSON: All right, Mr. Trump. (CHEERING) (APPLAUSE) We'll be-- we'll be back with a few final thoughts in a moment. (MUSIC) (LONG PAUSE)

JOHN DICKERSON: So that's nine Republican debates-- down and at least three to go. We'll have more about the presidential race and the death of Justice Antonin Scalia tomorrow morning on Face the Nation. Our guests include Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders. Debate coverage continues now on our digital network, CBSN. For Major Garrett and Kimberly Strassel, I'm John Dickerson. Goodnight.