Live Blog: FBN Republican Presidential Debate

By Mark Joyella 

Hello again and welcome aboard the TVNewser live blog as we ride the rails of another Debate Night in America.

This time, it’s the Republicans debating the economy, domestic and foreign policy on the Fox Business Network, and again, the candidates have been divided into two groups: prime time and not-quite-ready-for-prime-time.

The first debate, at 6 p.m. ET, was moderated by anchors Trish Regan and Sandra Smith and featured Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul and Rick Santorum.


Fiorina largely ignored the men standing alongside her and fired at Trump and Hillary Clinton, suggesting that Trump has a “bromance” with Vladimir Putin, and saying that unlike Clinton, “I actually love spending time with my husband.”

The main debate is scheduled for a 9 p.m. ET start (though start times have been notoriously unreliable this election season), and will be moderated by Neil Cavuto and Maria Bartiromo.

Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Chris Christie will be on stage, and will not be singled out should any one of them fail to return in a timely fashion from the bathroom.

Our venue is the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center in North Charleston, S.C. And while the debate has yet to begin, the boss, it would seem, is already happy:

And with that, let’s let the games begin.

9:03 p.m. ET: Pivot Sen. Cruz pivots away from a question on jobs to talk about Iran, and other candidates follow suit:

9:17 p.m. ET: Wake Me When It’s My Turn Ben Carson jokes he didn’t expect to get a question “this early” and says “I was going to ask you to wake me up.”

9:26 p.m. ET: Oh, Canada Cavuto gets some jeers and groans from the crowd as he asks Cruz about the question of his eligibility to run for president, but Cruz gets a cheer from the crowd with his response, “I’m glad we are focusing on the important topics of the evening.”

Trump and Cruz then engage in a back-and-forth over the Constitution, leading to a one-liner from Marco Rubio, who says “I hate to interrupt this episode of Court TV.”

9:35 p.m. ET: Trump Says You Bet He’s Angry: Asked about the Republican response to the State of the Union, Trump conceded he is angry. “I’m very angry because our country is being run horribly.”

10:00 p.m. ET: New York Values Ted Cruz suggests that Trump’s positions on issues have changed, and that he had previously been in line with “New York values,” adding that “not a lot of conservatives come out of Manhattan.”

Trump responds with a vivid account of the 9/11 attacks and gets praise on Twitter:

10:35 p.m. ET: Clock Time Cruz and Trump, who have tangled with each other several times, are dominating talk time in the debate, followed by Kasich and Bush. Marco Rubio, perhaps surprisingly, lands second to last, just ahead of Ben Carson.

In terms of mentions, Donald Trump narrowly edges out Ted Cruz: