30 WTF Moments From the Miami GOP Debate
Voters in Florida and Ohio — the delegate-rich, winner-take-all states that have been glittering in the distance throughout this Republican primary race — will finally head to the polls next Tuesday. So Thursday’s GOP debate in Miami was the last shot for the three trailing candidates to knock Donald Trump off the steamroller he’s riding toward the Republican National Convention.
Trump’s path to 1,237 delegates gets harder if he loses Ohio (then he’d need to win 59 percent of the remaining delegates) and much harder if voters in both states reject him (he’d need 69 percent of the remaining delegates, in that case). And the latest polls out of both states show the race is tightening between Trump and their respective native sons: Ohio Gov. John Kasich is up five points in the Buckeye State, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is nipping at Trump’s heels in the Sunshine State.
Trump knows how close he is to sealing this deal — so close that RNC Chair Reince Priebus gave a pep talk before the CNN debate asking the audience to agree that any of the four candidates would be better than a Democrat. Which might explain why Trump was on his very best behavior Thursday night — no dick jokes, no nicknames, no interrupting. It was a whole new Donald. You might even call him Trump Nice.
Here were the weirdest moments of the night.
1. “They’re voting out of love.” -Donald Trump on his supporters
2. “I think the Republican establishment, or whatever you want to call it, should embrace what’s happening.” -Donald Trump on the Donald Trump phenomenon
3. “I know the H-1B [visa] very well. And it’s something that I frankly use and I shouldn’t be allowed to use it. We shouldn’t have it. Very, very bad for workers.” -Donald Trump
4. “We don’t want to lock the doors and pull down the blinds and leave the world.” -John Kasich, sounding a note of caution on protectionist trade policies
5. “We can’t have people just walking in. Look, we lock our doors at night in our homes. The country has to be able to lock its doors as well.” -John Kasich, this time on immigration
6. “I’d be maybe running for president of Croatia if we didn’t have immigration.” -John Kasich
7. “The Democrats support illegal immigration because they view those illegal immigrants as potential voters.” -Ted Cruz
8. “The Democrats, and I’ve watched them very intensely — even though it’s a very, very boring thing to watch — the Democrats are doing nothing with Social Security.” -Donald Trump, who couldn’t help but get a few insults in Thursday evening
9. “So far, I cannot believe how civil it has been up here.” -Donald Trump, speaking for all of us
10. “When you specify the programs you would eliminate, then you get attacked.” – Ted Cruz… bragging about the 25 government programs he would cut
11. “If you look at the average worker over the last 12 years, their salary and their pay have gone down, not up…. And I think that’s why there has been such an outpouring of love to what I’m saying.” -Donald Trump
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