Republican front-runner and real estate mogul Donald Trump went an on unstoppable roll at the first GOP debate Thursday.
He called the American leadership weak, affirmed his misogynistic views and slammed many – both political and non-political – personalities, eliciting a mix of cheers and jeers from the Cleveland crowd.
As always, Trump had a lot to say. Here are few highlights of the evening:
“If it weren't for me, you wouldn't even be talking about illegal immigration.”
The real estate magnate – who called Mexicans rapists, then said he loves them and called them rapists again, and threatened to build a border wall – suggested that no one had given this matter any thought before he brought it up.
“Our leaders are stupid. Our politicians are stupid.”
While comparing the government of the United States to the Mexican leaders, Trump said Mexico is smarter because they send the people they don’t want to care for over the border so that our leaders could take care of them.
“To Hillary Clinton, I said be at my wedding, and she came to my wedding. You know why? She had no choice.”
Trump bragged about how he intentionally gave money to politicians so that he could later get favors from them. He said that Hillary Clinton had no choice but to go to his wedding because his massive donations to Clinton Foundation left her with rather limited options. He also added that he had no idea the money he donated would be spent on private jets and trips to foreign countries.
“I don't, frankly, have time for total political correctness.”
When debate moderator Megyn Kelly called out Trump for referring to as women “fat pigs, slobs and disgusting animals” in the past, he interrupted her by saying that he reserved such comments for "only Rosie O'Donnell."
He then went on to blame a culture of political correctness for hurting the country.
“I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct. ...I've been challenged by so many people and I don't, frankly, have time for total political correctness,” he said.
“[Reporters] are a very dishonest lot, generally speaking, in the world of politics.”
In relation to his comments about Mexican people, Trump said the reporters did not cover his statements in the manner they were originally said.
“What I'd like to see is a private system without the artificial lines around every state.”
Donald Trump’s stance on single-payer health care system was pretty clear.
“As far as single payer, it works in Canada. It works incredibly well in Scotland. It could have worked in a different age, which is the age you're talking about here,” the billionaire stated. “What I'd like to see is a private system without the artificial lines around every state.”
“This country owes $19 trillion dollars, and they need someone like me to straighten out this mess.”
The presidential hopeful said that he has never gone bankrupt, which is why the country needs someone like him to straighten things out. (His companies' bankruptcies? That's another matter.)
“I've evolved on many issues over the years and you know who else has? Ronald Reagan.”
When Kelly asked Trump when he actually became a Republican, the mogul said that he has evolved on many issues over the years – just like Ronald Reagan.
However, he ultimately came back to the question, and said he became a Republican after seeing the results of President Barack Obama's time in office.
“We don't win anymore. We don't beat China in trade.”
Trump said the country is in serious trouble because “we don’t win anymore.” He went onto say that since the U.S. lags behind China and Japan in trade – and Mexico both in trade and on border – the Army needs to be strengthened because we “can’t do anything right.”