The third showdown between the Republican presidential hopefuls took place this week, and it was a night of honest-to-goodness belly laughs. I’m not kidding: between very real and serious questions about economic policy, climate change, and tax reform, the GOP candidates offered up several memorable — even laughable moments.
CNBC hosted the October 28 event and, as usual in this election cycle, the oversized field of Republican candidates was broken up into two debates, based on the latest poll numbers. As for who won the evening, opinions are mixed. Donald Trump is on Twitter declaring to anyone who will listen that he was the clear winner. Marco Rubio delivered several key messages and body blows to his former mentor Jeb Bush, that some argue made his, the breakout success of the night.
If you didn’t get a chance to watch the debate last night, don’t despair. The GOP contenders are doing it all again in less than two weeks in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Until then, here are some of the best moments from the third Republican debate to help hold you over.
For Starters, CNBC Was Late For Its Own Party
— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) October 29, 2015
The primetime show was scheduled to start at 8:00 pm. But things didn’t get underway until around 8:10—which left the pre-show debate pundits plenty of time for awkward pauses and empty banter.
Donald Trump Revealed That His Biggest Flaw Is His Trusting Nature
— The NAM (@dragonero2014) October 29, 2015
Trump kicked off the evening by telling the world that his biggest weakness was that he “trusts people too much.” Did you see that one coming? Because I definitely didn’t.
Carly Fiorina Proved That She Knows How To Smile
— Glamour (@glamourmag) October 29, 2015
I guess. Sort of.
Ted Cruz Offered To Give Everyone A Ride Home
— National Journal (@nationaljournal) October 29, 2015
“If you want someone to have a beer with, I might not be that guy,” Cruz said in his opening statement. “But I will be the guy to drive you home.” Later in the debate, he offered CNBC moderator Carlos Quintanilla some tequila and a batch of marijuana-laced brownies. Not creepy at all, Senator Cruz.
But Jeb Bush Took Home The Award For Creepiest Offer Of The Night
— New York Times Video (@nytvideo) October 29, 2015
“Find me a Democrat that will cut $10, and I’ll give them a warm kiss,” said Bush during an exchange on the party’s plan to reduce spending.
John Kasich Called Out The CNBC Moderators For Their (Awful) Questions
— VICE News (@vicenews) October 29, 2015
“The questions that have been asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media,” Cruz said. “This is not a cage match. And you look at the questions: ‘Donald Trump, are you a comic book villain?,’ ‘Ben Carson, can you do math?,’ ‘John Kasich, will you insult two people over here?,’ ‘Marco Rubio, why don’t you resign?,’ ‘Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen?’ How about talking about the substantive issues people care about?”
He wasn’t wrong.
CNBC Seriously Asked A Question About Fantasy Football
— Chris Christie (@ChrisChristie) October 29, 2015
Minimum wage and women’s rights went unmentioned, but CNBC moderators were very interested in what the Republican field had to say about fantasy football regulations.
Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie responded: “We have $19 trillion in debt, we have people out of work, we have ISIS and Al-Qaeda attacking us, and we’re talking about fantasy football? How about we get the government to do what we’re supposed to be doing?”
Former Friends Jeb Bush And Marco Rubio Took The Gloves Off
— National Review (@NRO) October 29, 2015
Bush “started it” when he said Rubio should have actually shown up for work as a U.S. Senator (ouch). But, Rubio finished it, when he pointed out “someone must have convinced you that attacking me is going to help you.” Translation: “You don’t want these problems, Jeb.”
Donald Trump Completely Dismissed John Kasich
— The Hill (@thehill) October 29, 2015
Trump came out swinging when the Ohio governor talked about the state’s fiscal successes. Trump said Kasich “got lucky” in Ohio because of fracking, but was partially responsible for the fall of Wall Street giant Lehman Brothers. Trump finished with: “His poll numbers tanked. That is why he is on the end. He got nasty, so you know what? You can have him.”
Then Trump Winked At Ben Carson
— New Republic (@NewRepublic) October 29, 2015
At least, we think he intended that wink for Ben Carson.
These are only a handful of the most memorable moments. What were some of yours? Tell us in the comments!