Live Blog: CNN GOP Debate

By Mark Joyella Comment

Since it’s been less than 24 hours since the last presidential debate ended, you may be feeling withdrawal symptoms. Good for you, it’s once again Debate Night in America.

Tonight, the remaining Republicans gather in Miami: GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, and three guys who think they can stop him–Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and John Kasich.

The venue tonight is the University of Miami, and the moderator is Jake Tapper. He’s joined in the questioning by Dana Bash, Salem talk radio host Hugh Hewitt and The Washington Times’ Stephen Dinan.

Will Trump be asked about the allegations his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, grabbed a journalist who tried to ask Trump a question earlier this week? If so, here’s the story.

And then there’s the arrest of a Trump supporter who sucker punched a protester at a Trump rally in North Carolina–a story that is getting major attention in the news cycle ahead of the debate. Here’s more.

As for the rest of the debate–and the other candidates in particular, ABC News says this is Gut Check Time:

FIRST THINGS FIRST: CNN LIES. Yes, we were all duped–again–by CNN, which said the debate would begin at 8:30 p.m. ET (at least until 8:30 p.m. ET, when the network revealed the debate should begin at 9). Here’s what CNN said about the debate start time in a post “Everything You Need to Know About CNN’s GOP Debate:

Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 8.53.41 PM

Yeah, not so much. Folks on social media took it pretty well:

9:15 p.m. ET: Tapper’s Pocket Square There’s been plenty of talk early on about trade and guest workers, but some viewers seem distracted by Jake Tapper’s pocket square.

9:33 p.m. ET: “So far I cannot believe how civil it’s been up here.” Many observers have noted that Donald Trump seems to be playing it for the general election on stage, keeping it civil and calm. Trump himself even expressed surprise out “how civil it’s been up here.”

That has a few–okay, more than a few–people making jokes on Twitter about missing the Trump that talked about the size of his hands. We’re not sharing those, but you can look ’em up.

10:00 p.m. ET: Trump Dominates It seems that the candidates who hope to stop Trump are biding their time and waiting to take their shot. The conversation about the candidates on Twitter tells the story:

10:15 p.m. ET: Cuba As the conversation turns to one of South Florida’s nearest and dearest topics, Cuba, Marco Rubio seems to have found his edge, sparring with Trump, who many believe has come across as unprepared.

CdPM_eZVIAA4ZRD.jpg-large10:35 p.m. ET: Bad Dudes Confronted by Jake Tapper about the violence that has happened at his rallies–and then reading a series of Trump’s own quotes suggesting violence–Trump says he’s had a lot of protesters who have been “bad dudes.”

That said, reporters covering the Trump campaign say they haven’t documented any violence on the part of protesters:

10:55 p.m. ET: Who Won?

11:00 p.m. The Debate Has Ended. Go in peace.

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