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Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Ted Cruz Spar in GOP Debate

Though the polls already reveal Donald Trump’s closest competition, Fox News said Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio “emerged from last night’s Fox Business debate…the apparent main challengers,” and Gov. Chris Christie might have gained favor.

Matt Drudge’s debate-winner poll shows Trump leading, followed by Sen. Cruz, Sen. Rubio, Gov. Christie, Gov. John Kasich, Dr. Ben Carson, with Jeb Bush bringing up the rear.

The stakes are high, and the men are jockeying for position.

For Trump and Cruz in particular, the Fox Business Network debate in South Carolina marked the first where real tensions showed through. Before, the two top-polling candidates essentially refused to attack each other, preserving a détente that extended to the campaign trail.

No more.

Trump, after the debate, acknowledged in one TV interview that their “bromance” is over.

Sens. Cruz and Rubio sparred over issues important to conservatives: legal and illegal immigration.

“Ted Cruz, you used to say you supported doubling the number of green cards, now you say that you’re against it,” Sen. Rubio said. “You used to support a 500 percent increase in the number of guest workers, now you say that you’re against it. You used to support legalizing people that were here illegally, now you say you’re against it. You used to say that you were in favor of birthright citizenship, now you say that you are against it…That is not consistent conservatism, that is political calculation.”

Sen. Cruz said this in response: “I appreciate you dumping your oppo research folder on the debate stage.”

Sen. Rubio said it wasn’t oppo research; it was the other senator’s record.

Do you think this was the best GOP debate so far?

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