According to the Republicans, President Obama is a “petulant child” and Hillary Clinton belongs in the court house.
Those were just two of the most pithy and extreme statements to be voiced by the seven male Republican candidates in the main Presidential debate on Thursday night.
Americans are now half-way through the scheduled run of Republican debates, just 10 months before they decide who they want in the White House.
The two-hour debate in Charleston, South Carolina covered many topics including stock markets, taxes, jobs, infrastructure and health care, but most of the primetime debate was focused on three issues - immigration, the war on ISIS and guns.
Below are the seven most extreme statements of the evening.
1) “Barack Obama does not believe that America is a great global power. Barack Obama believes that America is a arrogant global power that needs to be cut down to size. And that’s how you get a foreign policy where we cut deals with our enemies like Iran and we betray our allies like Israel and we gut our military and we go around the world like he has done on 10 separate occasions and apologized for America.”
Florida Senator Mario Rubio lamented President Obama’s so-called attempts to dismantle the army and pander to enemies of the US. He referred to the 10 US sailors who were detained overnight in Iran for sailing into foreign waters.
“And I give you my word, if I am elected president, no service man or service woman will be forced to be on their knees, and any nation that captures our fighting men will feel the full force and fury of the United States of America.”
2) “When I’m president of the United States, we are going to win this war on ISIS. The most powerful intelligence agency in the world is going to tell us where we are, the most powerful military in the world is going to destroy them. And if we capture any of them alive, they are getting a one-way ticket to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and we are going to find out everything they know.”
Mr Rubio was also particularly vocal on how to defeat ISIS.
His comments come the same evening that the number of inmates at the US military prison fall to below 100 for the first time in its history.
3) “She wouldn’t just be a disaster, Hillary Clinton is disqualified from being commander in chief of the United States.”
While Texan Senator Ted Cruz received little criticism for failing to disclose a $1 million bank loan to finance his campaign, Mr Rubio insisted that Democrat Hillary Clinton is not fit to run as President and be in charge of the FBI due to her misuse of her work email account.
Jeb Bush added Ms Clinton is “under investigation by the FBI”.
“If she gets elected, her first 100 days, instead of setting an agenda, she might be going back and forth between the White House and the courthouse.”
4) “[…] criminals don’t buy their guns from a gun show. They don’t buy their guns from a collector. And they don’t buy their guns from a gun store. They get — they steal them. They get them on the black market.“
Guns were a big focus of the night. Mr Rubio insisted that criminals don’t buy their guns from a traditional outlet like a shop.
The comments come as President Obama is attempting to tighten up security controls and background checks on those who legally buy guns.
Businessman Donald Trump blamed America’s “massive mental health problem” for the high number of mass killings, while his colleagues insisted that the Democrats wanted to “abolish” the second amendment.
5) “This guy is a petulant child. That’s what he is.”
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie did not share much of the airwaves but when given an opportunity to speak against President Obama’s policy on guns he came down hard, arguing the President's gun policies were more like a “dictatorship” than a democracy.
President Obama recently cried on air when he said he often thought of the primary school children that were shot dead at Sandy Hook.
“The American people have rejected your agenda and now you’re trying to go around it. That’s not right. It’s not constitutional. And we are going to kick your rear end out of the White House come this fall," said Mr Christie.
6) “With grandiose language, the president talks about red lines and nothing to follow it up; talks about ISIS being the JV team, they form a caliphate the size of Indiana with 35 (thousand) to 40,000 battle-tested terrorists.”
Despite comments from the debate moderator that ISIS is not a traditional war - it is more like a global network that has sophisticated intelligence operations, former Florida governor Jeb Bush resorted to traditional battle language. Most Republicans declared themselves the next “Commander in Chief”.
Donald Trump responded to a question as to whether he wanted to “rethink his position” on calling for a “temporary ban” of all Muslims from the country.
“We have to find out what’s going on. I said temporarily. I didn’t say permanently. I said temporarily. And I have many great Muslim friends. And some of them, I will say, not all, have called me and said, “Donald, thank you very much; you’re exposing an unbelievable problem and we have to get to the bottom of it.”
“But we have a serious problem. And we can’t be the stupid country any more. We’re laughed at all over the world,” he added.
You can read the full transcript of the debate in this document.Reuse content