CNN Houston Texas GOP Debate Recap

CNN Houston Texas GOP Debate Recap

Wolf Blitzer

Maria Celeste Arrasas

Dana Bash

Hugh Hewitt

Ben Carson — Heading off abyss of destruction. No more politics of personal destruction.

John Kasich — America is amazing.

Marco Rubio — Appeal to hopes, do not prey on people’s fears.

Ted Cruz — Welcome to Texas. Democrats admit he is doing what he said he would do.

Donald Trump — We don’t win anymore. With me we will.

Wolf Blitzer asked about deporting all 12 million illegals.

Trump — Cruz the leader on amnesty. I’m the only reason we are talking about illegal immigration. Either we have a country or we don’t.

Cruz — Illegal immigration drives wages down. Arizona improving by deporting illegals and seeing wages rise.

Trump — Sheriff Joe endorsed me.

Rubio — Secure border first. Visa overstays 45% of problem. e-verify. In 2011 Trump wanted pathway to citizenship. Trump hires foreign workers, not Americans.

Trump — I hire foreign workers during peak season. Those are part time jobs. Romney should have won. He was a failed candidate.

Rubio — You hired illegals.

Trump — I’ve hired people. You’ve hired nobody.

Cruz — Donald did not discover illegal immigration. I led the fight as a Texas Senator. Trump was firing Dennis Rodman on Celebrity Apprentice. Rubio was part of Gang of 8. Donald funded it. Rubio right about 1 million judgment against Donald.

Trump — I get along with everybody. You Cruz get along with nobody. Not one GOP Senator backs you.

Cruz — Donald is a dealmaker. Anyone who cared about illegal immigration wouldn’t hire illegal immigrants or donate to Pelosi or Reid. If you want to be liked in Washington that is not a good attribute for a president.

Trump — Cruz borrowed from Goldman Sachs.

Kasich — Praised Bush 41. Complete border. I favor a guest worker program. Path to legalization.

Carson — I believe in liberty and justice for all. Not just Mexicans. Terrorists also cross border. 6 months to register as a guest worker. Don’t have to live underground anymore. Foreign aid is one solution so they do not feel the need to come here. Makes more sense than borrowing money from China.

Trump — Asked how he will make Mexico pay for the wall, he said that it just got 10 feet taller. He criticized Vicente Fox for using f-word. Trump veered to 58 billion trade deficit with Mexico. I don’t mind trade wars when we’re losing 58 billion per year.

Rubio — Trump Towers was built with illegal immigrant labor. Trump neckties made in Mexico.

Trump — You don’t know a thing about business.

Rubio — I don’t know anything about bankrupting 4 companies or being sued for fraud over Trump University. Trump inherited 200 million dollars. Otherwise he would be selling watches in Manhattan.


Rubio — Asked about DACA, Rubio said it was not about deportation. It was about an illegal unconstitutional executive order.

Cruz — Rubio says he will end it someday, but not now. It should end now. Same with Ethanol.

Rubio — Ethanol will be phased out in 2022. DACA will end on my first day as president. It cannot supersede the Constitution.

Cruz — Media thinks you can only be Hispanic if you are liberal. I got 40% of Hispanic vote in Texas when Romney only got 27%. Faith, Family, Patriotism. Highest rate of military enlistment. The Obama-Clinton community has done enormous damage to the Hispanic community.

Rubio — We are the party of diversity, not the Democratic Party. The Hispanic community cares about more than immigration. Leaving a better world for your children can only come through free enterprise.

Kasich — He refused to bash his GOP opponents. We need economic growth. Common sense regulations, lower taxes, fiscal plan that balances budget.

Carson — Make a better life for everybody.

Trump — Told of a Telemundo poll that says 75% of Hispanics don’t like him, Trump said that he does not believe a single thing Telemundo says. He has hired thousands of Hispanics. GOP getting record setting numbers. I think I have something to do with that. Democrats getting lower numbers. When told of a Washington Post poll saying 80% don’t like him, Trump dismissed it. He settled his lawsuit with Univision. He is building a much bigger, much stronger GOP.


Hugh Hewitt

Cruz – Asked if he trusted Trump to appoint conservative justices, Cruz did not answer the question. He cited that some Republicans have nominated liberal judges. Cruz said every judge he nominates will vigorously defend the Bill of Rights.

Trump — Asked if Religious Liberty would be a litmus test for judges, he said yes. He called Chief Justice John Roberts a disaster.

Cruz — I supported the nominee, but I would have nominated Mike Lutig. Trump gave to far left liberal Democrats who support judicial activists.

Trump — We have to have somebody who is going to make deals. Cruz has been attacking my sister. Sam Alito signed the same bill as my sister.

Cruz — “I will not apologize for a minute for defending the Constitution. I will not apologize for defending the Bill of Rights.”

Trump called Cruz a crazy zealot.

Rubio — We’re always looking for the converts for the conservative movement. Yet Trump has no record. Rubio cited Planned Parenthood and Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians.

Trump again defended Planned Parenthood.

Kasich — Religious institutions should be free to practice the religion they believe in. On gay marriage, the court has ruled. I’ve moved on. “If you’re in the business of commerce, conduct commerce.”

Carson — Look at a what a person’s life has been. A person’s associations will tell you more than an interview. The fruit salad of their life.


Dana Bash:

Rubio — Trump likes the individual mandate. Obamacare is a job-killing law.

Trump — I support leaving in place the preexisting condition law. Those saying we need a mandate to cover preexisting conditions are wrong. We should have gotten rid of state lines.

Rubio — We led the effort to end the bailout fund for the insurance companies. Donald, what is your plan? You have no plan. Now Trump is repeating himself. Thunderous applause.

Trump kept saying there would be competition. There would be many plans. Asked if he had anything else to add, Trump said “No. What else is there to add?” The crowd booed.

Kasich would not leave the mandate in place but would allow the preexisting conditions rule to stay in place. “It’s easier to interpret the dead sea scrolls then it is to understand your hospital bill.” Kasich cited what he did in Ohio.

Carson — Healthcare is not a right but is a responsibility for a responsible society. Health Empowerment Accounts. Like Health Savings Accounts, but without bureaucrats. Medicaid will take care of the indigent.

Cruz — I would have DoJ prosecute Planned Parenthood. I want to kill ACA because it goes too far. Donald says it does not go far enough. Donald supports socialized healthcare. That will kill more jobs than Obamacare. Donald’s approach leads to rationing.

Trump — I do not want socialized medicine. Obamacare has to be repealed. It doesn’t work.

Cruz pounced and said that Donald in the past has said he did.


Trump — Asked how he would cut 10 trillion, Trump cited building a dynamic economy. Asked what he would cut, Trump cited Department of Education, Common Core, EPA. Wolf Blitzer noted that those cuts are a drop in the bucket. Trump cited waste, fraud and abuse, the typical buzzwords. We will cut so much your head will spin.

Kasich — Given a chance to show Trump’s numbers do not add up, Kasich would not take the bait. Kasich reverted to bean-counter language and reiterated what he did in DC and Ohio.

Trump — Kasich struck oil.

Kasich — Only 15,000 of 450,000 jobs created came from energy. We have financial services and IT. Jobs, jobs and jobs, period.

Trump was asked about Romney’s criticisms regarding his tax returns. Trump pointed out that what really matters are statements. You don’t learn anything from tax returns. Trump said Harry Reid beautifully baited Romney. Trump has been audited every year for the last 12 years. He needs to wait until his most recent audit is finished.

Trump attacked Hugh Hewitt “Very few people listen to your radio show.”

Rubio vowed to release his tax returns in the next couple days. You cannot balance the budget without reforming entitlements, which take up 83% of the budget. The longer we wait, the closer we will be to a debt crisis.

Cruz is releasing 2 more years of tax returns tomorrow. Donald being audited underscores the need to release tax returns. 65% of Republicans think Donald is not the right candidate to beat Hillary. Hillary is corrupt. Donald can’t prosecute the case against Hillary.

Trump cited polls showing him crushing Cruz, and that he crushed Cruz in South Carolina and Nevada. I haven’t even gotten started on Hillary. She called me sexist, and then she and Bill had a rough weekend.

Cruz — Trump cites polls but not substance. Cruz brought up Trump University and the fraud trial. Donald agrees with Hillary on many issues.

Trump insisted that he was being audited because his company is large.


Trump — He was asked very specifically about his promise to be a neutral arbiter. He said it makes no sense to label a good guy and a bad guy. It does no good to demean the neighbors.

Cruz — Donald and Hillary want to be neutral. “America will stand unequivocally with Israel” if Cruz is nominee. There is no moral equivalence. I have defended Israel. In 70 years Donald never has.

Trump cited his awards received from Israel.

Kasich said he stands with Israel and our allies no longer trust.

Rubio — “The position you have taken is an anti-Israel position.” You cannot have an honest dialogue when one side, the Palestinians, is dishonest. Israel is the only pro-American free enterprise democracy in the Middle East. The Palestinians are not a real estate deal. Negotiating is not possible with terrorists.


Kasich favors regime change but did not elaborate. We should be intercepted their ships and aircraft and implement tougher sanctions. We should arm South Korea with ballistic missile technology. work with China.

Trump attacked the current budget, veering away from North Korea.

Kasich returned the conversation to North Korea.

Carson complained about not getting time to talk about taxes and Israel. Carson never had an audit until he criticized Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast. The IRS is not honest and we need to get rid of them. When he went to Israel, everyone he met said Israelis felt they were abandoned by the United States. On North Korea, Kim Jong Un is an unstable person but he respects strength.


Trump rejected the newest ceasefire, saying it was meaningless.

Cruz — Russia stronger because of Obama’s weakness. Trump and Rubio backed Obama-Hillary policy of overthrowing Khadafi in Libya. Cruz called John Kerry “The most anti-Israel secretary of State this country has ever seen.” Trump donated to Kerry.

Trump said he never discussed Libya. We would be so much better off if Saddam Hussein and Khadafi were in charge. At least they killed terrorists.

Rubio — The Libyan people toppled Khadafi. If America walks away, Japan and South Korea will become nuclear powers.

Cruz vowed to post a video showing Trump in favor of toppling Khadafi. On Israel, Donald has supported anti-Israel politicians for four decades.

Trump — Nobody on this stage has done more for Israel than I have. When Cruz asked for a single example, Trump insulted Rubio and Cruz without providing one.

Carson begged “Can somebody attack me please?” The crowd went wild.

Kasich criticized Obama for not taking Syria’s Assad out. Kasich disagreed with Rubio over Libya, saying Samantha Power and Hillary Clinton undermined Khadafi.

Cruz pointed out that Harry Reid said Trump is malleable while Cruz is not.

Trump repeated the accusations that Cruz sabotaged Carson in Iowa. Trump called Cruz a basket case.


Rubio sided with the FBI over Apple. He would absolutely force Apple to comply with a court order. “Their brand is not superior to the national security of the United States of America.”

Cruz said Apple should be forced to comply. No Fourth Amendment violation. Apple does not have a right to defend a valid court order in a terror investigation.

Carson — Allowing terrorists to get away with things is bad for America. I would expect Apple to comply. If they don’t comply you’re encouraging chaos.

Kasich — Where’s the president been? He should sit down with the parties rather than letting it play out through the media. You lock the door and say you’re not coming out until you reach an agreement.

Trump was asked why he would build a wall along Mexico but not Canada. He said Canada is a much bigger border but there are far fewer problems. He cited drugs from Mexico.

Rubio — He is against bankruptcy protection for puerto Rico because they will not take steps to fix their economy. They are not growing. They have not made budget cuts.


Carson — He cited “These hands” that have saved lives and ask America to join hand with him.

Kasich — Cited a poll showing him beating Hillary by 11 points. Reiterated his record.

Rubio — This is about the identity of our party and the conservative movement. End the silliness and looniness.

Cruz — On Day 1, I will rescind every illegal government action. I will prosecute Planned Parenthood and rip to shreds the Iran deal. I will move embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Trump — Nobody knows politicians better than I do. I will get things done. Politicians never will.


Comments are closed.