The GOP hopefuls are getting beyond ugly in the most entertaining debate to date

Even Marco Rubio is landing blows -- it's like "Thunderdome" with five drunk toddlers, only on national TV

By Scott Eric Kaufman
February 26, 2016 6:08AM (UTC)
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Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz (AP/Reuters/Chris Keane/Andrew Harnik/Charlie Neibergall/Phot montage by Salon)

The gloves are off at tonight's Republican debate, with even the rhetorically flaccid senator from Florida trying to get a few licks in.

Marco Rubio accused Donald Trump of hiring undocumented immigrants -- people who, unlike his mother, didn't become citizens through the proper channels. Instead of addressing Rubio's criticism, Trump attacked Rubio for not being a job creator.


"I’m the only one on this stage that’s hired people," Trump said. "You haven’t hired anybody."

Texas Senator Ted Cruz tried to get some skin in the game, saying that when he was leading the fight against amnesty for undocumented immigrants, Trump was "firing Dennis Rodman on 'Celebrity Apprentice.'"

Cruz continued to hammer Trump, claiming that he funded the "Gang of Eight," to which Trump replied, as is his wont, with playground taunts.


"I've had an amazing relationship with politicians," he told Cruz. "You get along with no one."

He also complained that the former Mexican president, Vincente Fox, once used "a filthy, disgusting word on television," which isn't the least bit ironic coming from the man who called Cruz a "pussy" just last week.

Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at

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2016 Elections 2016 Gop Primary Donald Trump Marco Rubio Ted Cruz