Presidential campaigns are chock full of candidate clashes and jaw-dropping moments. And this one is no exception.
On November 7 2015, for example, Donald Trump hosted "Saturday Night Live," and appeared in a digital short spoofing Drake's viral "Hotline Bling" video. The sketch featured comedian Jay Pharoah as Drake, defending his dance moves on the grounds that "lots of people dance like this." The short then went on to list the groups of people who dance like Drake: dads, teachers, drunk football fans, and "tax guys," as represented by Donald Trump.
Carson's rap ad
On November 5, 2015, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson debuted a radio campaign ad, featuring rap music, aimed at young, black voters in the South. The ad intersperses clips of Carson's stump speeches with the following two rhymes by rapper Aspiring Mogul:
"Vote and support Ben Carson for our next president to be awesome... If we wanna get America back on track, we gotta vote for Ben Carson, a matter of fact."
O'Malley's bad blood
On October 20, 2015, former Maryland governor and democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley brought out his guitar during an appearance on "The View," and serenaded the audience with a Celtic rendition of the Taylor Swift hit, "Bad Blood." O'Malley said he chose the song because Taylor Swift's rival, Katy Perry, is scheduled to do a benefit concert for his campaign 2016 rival, Hillary Clinton. So, you see, it makes total sense.
Huckabee and... jail?
In September 2015, a county clerk in Kentucky was jailed for refusing to issue same-sex couples marriage licenses because of her Christian beliefs. When she was released six days later, Republican candidates Mike Huckabee and Sen. Ted Cruz stopped in for a visit.
Kim Davis' release quickly morphed into a strange mix of homecoming celebration and political rally; with 3,000 supporters cheering Davis on as she entered to "Eye of the Tiger," and Mike Huckabee telling the crowd, "If you have to put someone in jail, I volunteer to go."
This cycle, the number of aspiring presidential candidates who've registered with the FEC is at an all time high: 800. So, Americans' presidential options now include a cat named Limberbutt McCubbins and a 15-year old boy from Iowa, who goes by the name Deez Nuts.
Deez Nuts in an Independent, who leans right on immigration, left on gay rights and abortion, and supports the recent Iran Nuclear Deal. So, while his nom de campaign may make you laugh, Brady Olson (that's his real name) has laid out some real policy positions and he's putting up some of the best third-party numbers since Ross Perot.
Sen. Cruz's world on fire
One week before officially declaring his candidacy for the Repubican nomination, Senator Ted Cruz terrified a little girl at a rally in New Hampshire by informing her that the world is on fire.
"The Obama economy is a disaster. Obamacare is a train wreck. And the Obama-Clinton foreign policy of leading from behind - the whole world's on fire!"
Three-year-old Julie Trant on her mother's lap in the audience took this literally. "The world's on fire?" she asked.
"The world is on fire, yes," Cruz responded as the crowd chuckled. "Your world is on fire."
The pantsuit post
On June 10, 2015, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined Instagram with an inaugural post featuring a rack of red, white and blue pantsuits and the caption, "Hard choices," a pun on the title of her 2014 memoir.
Graham's phone number
In July 2015, during an interview with "CBS This Morning," Sen. Lindsey Graham repeatedly called Donald Trump "a jackass." Trump then retaliated by pulling out the big guns and reading Senator Graham's personal telephone number on live television.
Needless to say, Senator Graham was quickly inundated with calls.
How to destroy your cell phone
Senator Graham immediately tweeted out, "Probably getting a new phone. iPhone or Android?"
He then posted a video to YouTube, in which he explored the various ways a person can destroy their cell phone. These methods included: setting the phone on fire, hitting it with a samurai sword, striking it with a golf club and dropping it off the roof.
On April 12, 2015, Marco Rubio teased his candidacy declaration in a decidedly hip way... a tweet that referenced the popular HBO series, "Game of Thrones."
Jeb for hipsters
And Rubio isn't the only Republican candidate trying to show how hip he is through digital efforts. Jeb Bush launched an online swag store with a few unexpected items, like this "vintage tank," which aims to show that the former Florida Governor didn't always look the way he does currently.
"He may be a clean-cut grandfather now, but back in the 70's, Jeb had a sideburn-mustache combo that would make Burt Reynolds blush," reads the tank's official description. "Wear this tank on South Beach to make sure he doesn't forget it."
The Jeb 2016 store also features a red t-shirt that says, "My dad is the greatest man I've ever known. And if you don't think so, we can step outside."
In August 2015, CBS News learned that Rick Perry's campaign staffers were working without pay because the former Texas governor's fundraising had dried up.
"As the campaign moves along, tough decisions have to be made in respect to both monetary and time related resources," Perry spokeswoman Lucy Nashad said.
Here, the Republican presidential candidate eats a "veggie" corn dog at the Iowa State Fair, August 15, 2011. Let's hope it was a freebie.
Trump vs. Megyn Kelly
At the first Republican presidential debate of the 2016 campaign season, Fox News' moderator Megyn Kelly hit Donald Trump with several probing questions about his treatment of women. This did not go over well with the Donald.
When asked about Kelly's remarks in the days after the debate, Trump commented,"There was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever."
He later attempted to clarify this statement, denying it was in any way intended as a reference to a woman's period; but the comments ignited a conservative firestorm nonetheless.
Trump vs. Fox News
Then, on August 24th, Trump lashed out at Kelly again... this time, on Twitter. He even retweeted someone else's tweet, saying that Megyn Kelly came back from her vacation looking like Nancy Grace.
Fox News president Roger Ailes, who had reportedly cleared the air with Trump after the first wave of the fighting, released a statement shortly afterward, saying:
"Donald Trump's surprise and unprovoked attack on Megyn Kelly during her show last night is as unacceptable as it is disturbing."
When Sen. Cruz went all Treky
In July 2015, Republican Senator Ted Cruz, a Star Trek enthusiast, told the New York Times, "I think it is quite likely that Kirk is a Republican and Picard is a Democrat."
...And then, William Shatner (AKA Captain James T. Kirk) responded.
Huckabee's Holocaust analogy
Then, there was that time former Arkansas Governor and current Republican candidate Mike Huckabee suggested President Obama was leading Israel to another Holocaust with the Iranian nuclear deal.
"By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven," Huckabee said.
Trump vs. Ramos
In August 2015, Univision reporter Jorge Ramos stood up at a Donald Trump rally in Dubuque, Iowa, and attempted to ask the candidate about immigration out of turn. Trump glanced over at his security detail and a guard moved in to toss Ramos from the press conference.
"I've been a journalist for more than 30 years... and I've never been thrown out of any press conference from any interview," Ramos later told CBS News.
Tell your kids first
We assume that most presidential candidates discuss their plans to run for office with their families, but Republican Bobby Jindal put it all out there using a hidden-camera-style video, with him mostly hidden by a tree, telling his three kids, "we have decided we are going to be running for president this year." In the bizarre video, the Louisiana governor warns his children they can't reveal this 'secret' to their friends at soccer. He goes on to warn his children that now that people will be watching, "You have to behave. No bunny ears behind your brother or anything."
The video ran with a message that reads, "I had to tell a few people first. But I want you to be next. I'm running for President of the United States of America."
Trump on immigration
When Donald Trump officially declared his candidacy for the Republican nomination on June 16, 2015, he started a firestorm with what many viewed as offensive comments about Mexican immigrants.
"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best," Trump said. "They're sending people that have lots of problems...they're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."
Hillary Clinton's emails
For months, Hillary Clinton's campaign has been plagued by the fact that she used a personal email account to conduct official business as President Obama's Secretary of State.
In fact, a U.S. government source confirmed to CBS News' Pat Milton that the FBI is now looking into Hillary Clinton's private email system to see if there was any exposure of classified information, and if so, the extent of exposure and why it occurred.
Rand Paul's swag store
Rand Paul's swag store sells an item, called "Hillary's Hard Drive" for $99.95, poking fun at the private email controversy which has plagued the Democratic frontrunner's campaign to date.
The caption for this item reads, "CLEARANCE SALE! You've read about it on the news, now you can get one for yourself. Hillary's Hard Drive. 100% genuine erased clean email server. Buyer beware, this product has had heavy use and it currently is no longer working, but that doesn't mean it's not valuable to someone. Anyone?"
...because all is fair in love and campaigning.
Trump & Rick Perry's glasses
In the same South Carolina speech at which he gave out Senator Lindsey Graham's personal phone number to the public, Donald Trump also took aim at Rick Perry, saying "he put on glasses so people will think he's smart. And it just doesn't work, you know, people can see through the glasses."
Perry challenges Trump to a man off
After enduring weeks of insults from the lips of fellow Republican candidate Donald Trump, Texas Governor Rick Perry fired back at a July 29, 2015 appearance at the Yale Club.
Perry is a former Air Force captain who has utilized a tough-guy image throughout his long career in politics. So, when Trump told the Daily Mail earlier that day that Perry lacked the energy, brain power and 'toughness' to be an effective president, that last accusation hit a nerve.
"Let's get a pull-up bar out there and let's see who can do the most pull-ups," Perry challenged his competitor, to cheers and laughter from the audience.
Trump on war heroes
Trump sparked immediate backlash from his fellow Republican candidates, July 18, 2015, when he appeared to mock Senator John McCain's military record during a speaking engagement at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa.
"He's not a war hero," Trump said when moderator Frank Luntz brought up McCain, who spent more than five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. Then, qualifying his original statement, he said, "He's a war hero 'cause he was captured. I like people that weren't captured, OK?"
Politicos predicted that these comments would tank Trump's numbers, but they were wrong. As of August 5, 2015, the billionaire businessman is still polling at the top of the pack, so he will take center stage at the first official Republican debate.