Thursday night’s GOP debate, the seventh of the election cycle and the last before Monday’s Iowa Caucus, had some pretty good moments, even without the presence of bombastic billionaire and reality TV star Donald Trump, the current frontrunner in the still-crowded GOP field.
And not all of the best lines came from the “main stage” debate. The “undercard” debate (Rick Santorum gets really angry when the kiddie debate is referred to that way) had some excellent zingers as well.
Also, the first debate gave voice to a candidate many Americans may not have even known was still in the race — or in the race at all for that matter — former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore, who actually turned in a very respectable performance, showed a thoughtful knowledge of the issues, and had a very good stage presence.
In case you missed one or both of the GOP debates, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you, putting together a list of some of the best lines from both debates, not in any particular order.
NOTE: Not all of the quotes are necessarily positive for the candidate — like RINO John Kasich claiming that the Bible somehow promotes amnesty for illegal aliens.
“I’m a maniac and everyone on this stage is stupid, fat, and ugly. And Ben [Carson], you’re a terrible surgeon. Now that we’ve gotten the Donald Trump portion out of the way…” ~ Ted Cruz
“Everybody is welcome from any race, any country, any religion, if they want to be Americans. If they want to accept our values and our laws. If not, they can stay where they are.” ~ Ben Carson
“Listen, if my husband did what Bill Clinton did, I would have left him long ago.” ~ Carly Fiorina
“Barack Obama wants America to be more like the rest of the world. We don’t want to be like the rest of the world. We want to be the United States of America.” ~ Marco Rubio
“Hillary Clinton has been climbing the ladder [to try and get] power and here now she is trying for the White House. She is probably more qualified for the big house, honestly. She has escaped prosecution more times than El Chapo, perhaps Sean Penn should interview her. The woman should be prosecuted.” ~ Carly Fiorina
“I’m the only veteran…in this race. And I’m not going to any Donald Trump event over across town on some sort of faux veterans sort of issue.” ~ Jim Gilmore
“I kind of miss Donald Trump. He was a little teddy bear to me. We always had such a loving relationship here in these debates and in between and the tweets.” ~ Jeb Bush
“Bernie Sanders is a good candidate for president…of Sweden.” ~ Marco Rubio
“In terms of my faith, look, when I study scripture I know people live in the shadows need a chance.” ~ John Kasich
“Get rid of Planned Parenthood funding from the United States of America. When you see thousands upon thousands upon thousands of American being murdered in the womb, I can’t think of anything better than that.” ~ Chris Christie (When answering this question: “Can you name even one thing that the federal government does now that it should not do at all?”)