Most viewers were likely tuning in to last night’s second Republican presidential debate to see what more outlandish things frontrunner Donald Trump would say on live television. However, it was another candidate whose comments are making all the headlines today.
Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO and 2010 California Senate candidate, emerged as the clear victor after Wednesday’s night debate from the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
Her quick and clear responses to foreign policy questions earned her praise from the enthusiastic audience. But it was her response to Trump’s comments regarding her appearance that caught everyone’s attention.
In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Trump suggested that Fiorina’s physical appearance did not make her seem presidential.
“Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that?!” he told the interviewer. Later, Trump attempted to backtrack for this comment and said he was referring to Fiorina's persona, not her appearance.
Last night, CNN moderator Jake Tapper asked Fiorina if she would like to respond to the businessman’s comments.
“I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said,” she responded. Her response proved one of the few moments where Trump appeared visibly taken aback.
Other noteworthy moments were led by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, after he criticized Trump and Fiorina for going back-and-forth on their business career credentials.
“The fact is that we don’t want to hear about your careers, back and forth and volleying back and forth about who did well and who did poorly," Christie said. "You’re both successful people. Congratulations.
"You know who’s not successful? The middle class in this country who’s getting plowed over by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton."
Fiorna's performance at the debate still might have been the most impressive, especially considering that this was a make-or-break moment for her. Under CNN’s debate criteria, Fiorina was initially left out of the primetime debate; it was only after campaigning that CNN agreed to make Fiorina the 11th candidate in primetime, due to her rising poll numbers.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush also made the headlines following the debate, after defending his last name when attacked by Trump.
When Trump referenced former President George W. Bush’s involvement with the Iraq War, Jeb Bush simply said, “He (George) kept us safe,” to cheers from the crowd.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio also gained ground with his precise answers and personal connections to the audience. He discussed his grandfather emigrating from Cuba to the United States and later showcased his knowledge of issues in the Middle East and the U.S.-Mexico border.
The third GOP presidential debate will take place on Oct. 28 from the Coors Events Center in Boulder, Colorado, and will air on CNBC.
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