Sparks Fly in 2nd Presidential Debate

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Tensions were high as Republican Candidates took the stage at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, a location fitting for candidates who were looking to tout their conservative credentials and Reagan-like qualities.

In two debates that were divided based on national polling a total of fifteen candidates participated.

In the first debate, when discussing immigration, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum argued that he wanted to fight for Americans. South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham responded saying “in my world, Hispanics are Americans.”

In the second debate, most of the candidates focused their attacks on Donald Trump, the frontrunner for the nomination and billionaire businessman.

Trump and Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush sparred throughout the debate. One of the most memorable exchanges is when Trump said that Bush was bought by his donors. Bush countered, arguing that Trump had tried to get him to allow casino gambling in Florida, by donating to his campaign. Trump called the claims untrue, while Bush said it was an example of how he couldn’t be bought by anyone. “Maybe it works for (former Secretary of State) Hillary Clinton,” he said, taking a jab at the presumptive Democratic Nominee.

Carly Fiorina, the Former Hewlett Packard CEO, went hard after Trump and drew, perhaps, the biggest applause of the night. When asked about Trump’s comment about Fiorina’s face (he later said he was referencing her persona) she answered saying “I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said.” Trump responded saying that she has a “beautiful face.”

Retired Neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who has soared in the polls lately, made a defense of vaccines, countering Trump’s claim that they lead to autism. “We have extremely well-documented proof that there’s no autism associated vaccines.” He did agree with Trump, suggesting lower dosages of vaccines.

Fiorina, and other candidates, made their case for defunding the women’s health organization Planned Parenthood. She described undercover videos by an anti-abortion group, saying “I dare…Barack Obama to watch these tapes.” She passionately described a “fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, and its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.” Fact checkers have questioned the factuality of her comments, but she has refused to change her description.

Ohio Governor John Kasich and Texas Senator Ted Cruz argued over “ripping up” the Iranian Nuclear Deal on their first day in office. While both opposed the deal, Kasich argued that it would undermine relationships with allies. Cruz countered, saying Iran is dangerous and that the deal will make them even more so.

A few laughs were shared at the end of the debate, when the moderator (CNN’s Jake Tapper) asked the candidates what they’d like their Secret Service Codename to be.

Trump, who often brags about his wealth, responded: “humble.”

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