With the death of Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, tonight’s CBS News Republican presidential debate takes on heightened drama, and the political fallout of Justice Scalia’s death will surely play a key role in the questioning tonight.
Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and Marco Rubio have already said a successor to Justice Scalia should be chosen by the next president–even if that means waiting 11 months for the new president to take office.
The President honored Scalia as “one of the towering legal figures of our time.”
On to the debate.
Face the Nation host and CBS News political director John Dickerson will serve as the main moderator for the debate, joined by CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett and The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel.
9:03 p.m. ET: Moment of Silence After a stumble-free entry by the candidates, John Dickerson noted the passing of Justice Scalia, and asked the candidates and audience to take part in a moment of silence.
— New York Post (@nypost) February 14, 2016
The debate begins after a commercial break.
9:14 p.m. ET: “I Want to Get the Facts Straight for the Audience” Asking Ted Cruz about Scalia, Dickerson interrupts, then apologizes, saying “I want to get the facts straight for the audience.” Cruz pauses, and members of the audience boo.
Booing the notion of getting the facts straight?
— David S. Bernstein (@dbernstein) February 14, 2016
— Fusion (@ThisIsFusion) February 14, 2016
But this is a fact free election – as we know already. https://t.co/hHhF06EJvo
— Katty Kay (@KattyKayBBC) February 14, 2016
Not easy to think of new, interesting questions in debate number 207. John Dickerson asking some really good ones in the opening minutes.
— Matt Bai (@mattbai) February 14, 2016
9:34 p.m. ET: This Is Just Crazy. This Is Nuts. A fiery back-and-forth between Donald Trump and Jeb Bush over Iraq included Trump saying that former President George W. Bush lied about WMDs in the leadup to the war, and Bush pushed back against Trump for “going after my family.”
John Kasich, asked to weigh in, said “this is just crazy. This is nuts.”
The Republican front-runner just called George W. Bush a liar on Iraq.
— Philip Bump (@pbump) February 14, 2016
Trump just accused the Bush Administration of knowingly lying about WMDs in Iraq
— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) February 14, 2016
10:02 p.m. ET: Bush, Trump Dominate Talk on Twitter Unsurprisingly after their big clash, Trump and Bush lead Twitter conversation after the first hour of the debate:
— Twitter Government (@gov) February 14, 2016
10:08 p.m. ET: Cruz, Rubio Clash Over Immigration In one part of the exchange, Rubio even hit Cruz over Spanish: “I don’t know how he knows what I said on Univision, he doesn’t speak Spanish.”
10:26 p.m. ET: You Are the Single Biggest Liar Trump accuses Cruz of misconduct in South Carolina, accusing him of running ads suggesting Trump would not run in South Carolina and comparing the ads to the Cruz campaign’s comments about Ben Carson ahead of the Iowa caucus. “You are the single biggest liar,” Trump said to Cruz.
In the words of someone I'm watching with: "And this debate is being held at The Peace Center?!" #GOPDebate
— Ed O'Keefe (@edatpost) February 14, 2016
10:40 p.m. ET: Winners? Losers? So many bruising fights, it’s unclear who emerges from this a winner and who has been wounded. But many journalists point to John Dickerson as a winner:
Not sure who'll be helped in the votes by this. But @johndickerson is rocking it.
— Nicholas Thompson (@nxthompson) February 14, 2016
So proud of my friend @johndickerson who is keeping this crazy debate from spiraling into a ditch. He is making this hard job look easy
— amy walter (@amyewalter) February 14, 2016
10:58 p.m. ET: The Debate Has Ended Well, that was, um, feisty. Who won? Who lost?