"He should be forced to take an IQ test": Donald Trump's sickest burns of his 2016 rivals

As the carnival barker prepares to take the debate stage tonight, a look back at the insults he's already lobbed

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published August 6, 2015 9:59AM (EDT)

  (Reuters/Dominick Reuter/Brian Snyder/Photo montage by Salon)
(Reuters/Dominick Reuter/Brian Snyder/Photo montage by Salon)

"I'd like to be civil," Donald Trump said recently of his upcoming debate performance tonight, but as a top campaign aide to Ohio Gov. John Kasich recently tweeted, for his fellow Republican candidates, preparing for tonight's debate with the notorious ham at center stage is like "a NASCAR driver mentally preparing for a race knowing one of the drivers will be drunk":

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Ahead of the first GOP debate, Salon takes a look at a few of the insults The Donald has hurled at his fellow Republicans:

Jeb Bush

"The last thing we need is another Bush,” Trump declared during January's Iowa Freedom Summit, opening a months-long assault on his fellow Republicans -- a campaign that has been particularly focused on the former Florida governor.

"How would you like him negotiating with the terrorists?" Trump asked at a rally months later, noting "it took him four days before he got his answer straight" on the 2003 Iraq invasion. Bush suffered an early campaign stumble when he was unable to answer a question on the wisdom of invading Iraq during a Fox News interview. Trump has repeatedly described Bush as "weak" on the campaign trail.

Trump's Twitter account also retweeted an insult to Bush’s wife on July 4: “@RObHeilbron: @realDonaldTrump #JebBush has to like the Mexican Illegals because of his wife.” The retweet was later deleted.

Marco Rubio

"Weak" appears to be a favorite phrase of Trump's as he's deployed the insult against Florida Sen. Marco Rubio as well.

“Rubio is weak on immigration and he’s weak on jobs,” Trump told the conservative Breitbart.com, adding, “We need someone who is going to make the country great again, and Rubio is not going to make the country great again.”

"I don't even know how he could be running for office," Trump said of Rubio during a campaign event. "We can't put ourselves through this ... He couldn't answer 'Is the Iraq war a good thing or a bad thing?'"

Scott Walker 

“Finally, I can attack!” Trump recently told a fired-up crowd in Iowa after a fundraiser for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker called Trump a “DumbDumb.”

“Wisconsin’s doing terribly. It’s in turmoil. The roads are a disaster because they don’t have any money to rebuild them. They’re borrowing money like crazy. They projected a $1 billion surplus, and it turns out to be a deficit of $2.2 billion. The schools are a disaster. The hospitals and education was a disaster. And he was totally in favor of Common Core!”

And in a June interview with Bloomberg Politics Trump said that Walker's “got a lot of problems in Wisconsin. You know, Wisconsin’s got tremendous problems … the debt and the difficult problems that they have going on Wisconsin. Tremendous borrowings."

John Kasich

Despite disavowing his campaign aide's tweet alluding to Trump's erratic campaign style, Gov. Kasich may not be able to fend off potential bombs lobbed by Trump tonight. Back in May, Trump attacked Kasich, one of the newest entrants into the race, for his "horrendous" record as a Lehman Brothers managing partner:

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But hey, at least the Ohio governor made it to the debate stage in Cleveland, unlike some of his GOP rivals who've suffered some of Trump's harshest stings.

Rick Perry 

Perry was beat out for the last main stage debate spot by Kasich, so he won't be able to call Trump a "cancer" to his face and he won't be able to redeem his lackluster 2011 debate performance, but Trump may still make mention of the former Texas governor, who he once said "should be forced to take an IQ test before being allowed to enter the GOP debate":

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“Rick Perry failed at the border. Now he is critical of me. He needs a new pair of glasses to see the crimes committed by illegal immigrants," Trump also tweeted:

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"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," Trump exclaimed at a July 21 rally.

Lindsey Graham 

A "stiff," and a "beggar," is how Trump has described Sen. Lindsey Graham after the South Carolina senator called Trump a "jackass" for his disparaging comments on Sen. John McCain's war record.

The tycoon said of Graham's prospects in the private sector, "He couldn’t get a job. Believe me. Couldn't get a job." Trump told a crowd at a retirement community in Graham's home state of South Carolina. "He couldn't do what you people did. You're retired as hell and rich. He wouldn't be rich; he'd be poor," Trump joked before giving away Graham's personal cellphone number onstage.

George Pataki

The former New York governor made a gamble to come out early against Trump's comments comparing Mexican immigrants to criminals, urging fellow GOP candidates to condemn Trump's comments and challenging Trump to a debate on immigration but he won't be able to make his points directly to Trump tonight as Pataki's been relegated to the "kiddie table," failing to secure more than 1 percent support in national polls.

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Carly Fiorina 

The former host of reality TV show "The Apprentice" invoked his famous tag line "You're fired" to deliver a scathing critique of Republican presidential candidate and former HP executive, Carly Fiorina: Fiorina "ran a company and she got viciously fired," Trump told Florida Republicans in May. "She was walked out of there. And the stock went up seven points the day she got fired. That's not a good sign."

Trump also slammed Fiorina's failed 2010 Senate campaign, in which she lost to Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer of California by 10 points. "She loses in a landslide. A landslide," Trump boomed. "And now she says, 'OK, now I'm going to run for president.' Give me a break!"

Grab your popcorn and get ready for the show!

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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