GOP Debate Turns Ugly as Candidates Spar, Get Personal

TheWrap follows all the action from the stage and the reactions on social media

Even the sudden death of conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia earlier in the day didn’t manage to contain the fighting during Saturday’s GOP debate in Greenville, South Carolina. The face-off was contentious, loud and at times downright brutal.

The six candidates — real-estate developer Donald Trump, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz — clashed over George W. Bush, immigration, eminent domain and who is the bigger liar.

The event was hosted by CBS and moderated by “Face the Nation” anchor John Dickerson, with CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett and the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel joining as panelists.

Earlier, Garrett told TheWrap to expect “a lively and interesting debate”… and, boy, was he right.

TheWrap scoured the Internet for instant feedback, analysis and even the occasional wisecrack.

Here is the complete timeline:

5:57: And we’re off…

Donald Trump traveled in style…

People are ready for the fight…

6:00: Candidates already at podium… no traffic jam tonight…

6:04: People like the moment of silence for Justice Scalia…

6:07: First question about Justice Scalia. Some people aren’t loving Trump’s answer…

6:11: Kasich gets high marks…

6:12: Rubio, you’ve been warned… Rubio, you’ve been warned.

6:18: Ted Cruz says that for 80 years justices have not been appointed in election years. Dickerson argues with Cruz over the actual time of Justice Kennedy’s appointment versus his confirmation.

The audience doesn’t like all the real-time fact-checking, and Dickerson gets booed…

6:21: New drinking game…

6:23: People are getting tired of Ben Carson’s same old joke…

6:24: Watch Dickerson and Cruz arguing over the Kennedy appointment…

6:26: Some people are not impressed…

6:29: Trump gets booed after calling the audience “lobbyists”…

6:37: Bush defends his family’s honor, gets cheered by crowd.

“My mom is the strongest woman I know,” he says. Trump shoots back, “She should be running.”

Kasich has the best line: “This is just crazy, huh. This is just nuts.”

6:40: People are not digging Trump’s attack on George W. Bush. He gets booed. A lot…

6:41: Rubio gets cheers for his comment…

6:45: Best GIF so far…

6:49: Meanwhile…

6:49: Rubio gets cheers from crowd…

But others aren’t feeling it…

6:54: And then there are those who don’t know what to make of it…

6:57: Carson talks taxes…

Ouch.

And this gem…

7:08: How are they doing so far?

7:07: Team Bush really likes this one…

7:14: Don’t mess with Cruz…. After Rubio says Cruz doesn’t understand Spanish, Cruz shows him who’s boss. If you’re wondering, Cruz is saying, “If you want say it now! Right now say it in Spanish if you like.”

7:18: Cruz says his dad came to the U.S. with $100 in his underwear…. Which got one person asking…

7:24: Cruz is tweeting during debate. Talk about multi-tasking…

7:25: Lots of people remarking on Trump’s uber-colorful background…

7:28: Big fight…. Cruz and Trump going at it. Trump calls Cruz “nasty” and a “liar.”

7:31: This is all too much for some people to follow…

7:32: Others are loving’ it…

7:34: Carson says he’s “not a politician, I’m never going to become a politician.” That’s a relief. For a moment we thought he was running for President…

7:36: Some Latinos are not feeling the fight between Cruz and Rubio…

7:39: Trump is not having the best night…

7:40: A “chyron” is the banner on the lower part of the screen. And yes, it actually said that when they asked Trump about the advice he gets…

7:40: Sparks fly as Trump calls Bush a liar for saying Trump went bankrupt. People are starting to wonder what’s going on…

7:48: Following Trump’s proposal to tax manufacturers who move jobs out of the country — after an air conditioner manufacturer laid off 1,400 workers as it moved production to Mexico — the Independent Journal may have created the best GIF so far…

7:54: In conclusion…

Jeb Bush came prepared with a snappy little video…

While Kasich’s team wants to leave you with these words…

And Ben Carson’s team tweeted this final thought…

And finally… we leave you with these words from Trump…