Dirty GOP debate, accusing fingers and fears

"Look, are they small hands?" Trump responded in kind in his own campaign speech later in the day. (But) I guarantee you, there is no problem.

Thursday's debate, sponsored by Fox News, is the first time Trump will face his rivals since scooping up seven victories on Super Tuesday.

"What a sad state of affairs".

More than a dozen states have now voted for Republican and Democratic presidential nominees, but not all those results are equally useful for predicting who will actually make it to the general election.

Check out Twitter's funniest reactions below.

With the huge number of tuning in to hear and watch the Republican debate, there is no surprise that candidates do their best to impress the audience to win more supporters.

That has GOP establishment figures gnashing their teeth over the prospect that it may soon be too late to stop Trump's insurgent candidacy, and reviving talk of a brokered convention and an irreparably damaged Republican Party. They are the last two anti-Trump candidates standing in what has been a bruising nomination battle.

He said for 40 years the tycoon had been "part of the corruption in Washington" that people were angry about, citing Mr Trump's campaign contributions to leading Democrats, including Hillary Clinton when she was a senator.

That's the same line of attack Rubio is pushing as he tries to emerge as Trump's chief rival. "Let me tell you this, I will win OH and we're going to move all across the country".

"After tonight, we've seen that our campaign is the only campaign that has beaten, that can beat, and that will beat Donald Trump", Cruz said, calling on lower-ranked GOP candidates to drop out of the race so that he might earn more votes from those who do not want to see Trump clinch the nomination. I don't really think anything of it. I don't really know him", Ryan said at his weekly press conference, adding, "We're going to obviously get to know each other if he gets the nomination.

"Well he's very flexible, so you never know", Rubio said, referring to New York Times transcripts that show Trump softening his hardline stance on immigration. "He has done so to people sitting on the stage today", the Florida senator said, referring to the feud between Trump and Fox News host Megyn Kelly.

By the next exchange, when Rubio charged that Trump's father had left him a giant fortune, any pretense of restraint was abandoned: "This little guy has lied so much about my record", Trump said of Rubio, who is shorter than he is.

John Kasich needs to beat Donald Trump in OH, but he's vowed not to join in "personal attacks" on him by Marco Rubio or Mitt Romney.

"The time came when Donald Trump's outrage had reached such a level that I simply had to speak out".

Rubio repeatedly tried to expose Trump's lack of specificity on policy and seized on Trump's unwillingness to refund tuition to many people who paid thousands of dollars to attend Trump University.

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