The 14 Best Insults From the GOP Debate and Celebrity Roast

We know, we shouldn’t focus on the candidates’ soundbites. But then again, neither should they

Donald Trump and Ted Cruz at GOP Debate Jan 2016 in Charleston, SC
Getty Images

Donald Trump’s put-downs of Democrats and Republican opponents have sometimes made the GOP debates feel like a Dean Martin Celebrity Roast — where everyone drinks too much and says things they probably shouldn’t on TV.

Thursday’s debate was no exception. Of course, it was all in fun. Congratulations to everyone’s writers. Here were the best insults of the night:

The opening salvos

“If she gets elected, her first 100 days, instead of setting an agenda, she might be going back and forth between the White House and the courthouse.” – Gov. Jeb Bush, on Hillary Clinton

Jeb Bush at GOP Debate Jan 2016

The birther fight

“Since September, the Constitution hasn’t changed, But the poll numbers have. I understand that Donald is dismayed that his poll numbers have fallen in Iowa.” – Cruz, attacking Trump. He said Trump thought in September that he was eligible to be president, but started questioning his eligibility now because he feels threatened.

“In Iowa, as you know, in the last three polls, I’m beating you.” – Trump, to Cruz

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC - JANUARY 14: Republican presidential candidates (L-R) Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) participate in the Fox Business Network Republican presidential debate at the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center on January 14, 2016 in North Charleston, South Carolina. The sixth Republican debate is held in two parts, one main debate for the top seven candidates, and another for three other candidates lower in the current polls. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

“I’m not going to be taking legal advice from Donald Trump.” – Cruz

“I hate to interrupt this episode of Court TV.” – Sen. Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio at GOP Debate Jan 2016

The random shot

“We’re gonna win every state if Bernie Sanders is the nominee.” – Ohio Gov. John Kasich

 John Kasich at GOP Debate Jan 2016


The New York City values fight

“Not a lot of conservatives come out of Manhattan. I’m just saying.” – Cruz, dissing Trump’s “New York City values”

“Conservatives do actually come out of Manhattan, including William F. Buckley. … When the World Trade Center came down, I saw something that no place on earth could have handled more beautifully, more humanely. … The people of New York fought and fought and fought. … I have to tell you, that was a very insulting statement that Ted made.” – Trump

Bush describes Trump’s comments on Muslims

“Yeah, they are unhinged.” – Bush

GOP Presidential Candidates Debate In Charleston

The petty insults

“We don’t need a weak person being president of the United States. That’s what we would get if it were Jeb.” – Trump

“China is running over President Obama like he is a child.” – Cruz

“You already had your chance, Marco. You blew it.” – Christie, cutting off Rubio’s attempt to interrupt him about taxes

The very-rehearsed

“I saw you on the Senate floor flip your vote on crop insurance, because they told you it would help you in Iowa. … That is not consistent conservatism. … Every single time that there has been a defense tea in the senate, three people to vote against it: Bernie Sanders, Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz.” – Rubio

“I appreciate you dumping your oppo research on the debate stage.” – Cruz

Get home safe, everybody.