CNN Debate Live Blog III

Tapper goes right at Trump’s “deport ’em all” stance, asking him to explain to Christie (who said there’s not enough money in the world to do that) how we can pay for it.

Trump repeats usual stuff, including the crime-immigration link.

Christie follow up: does facts and figures about cost of deportation, but doesn’t really engage Trump, who agrees with him.

Carson quoted on idiocy of mass deportation, dodges question, gets into weeds on sealing border, drugs, etc. Tapper tries to get him to criticize Trump, won’t do it, seems to back off on deportation.

Jeb asked about Trump comments on his wife, Jeb asks Trump to apologize. Jeb contrasts Trump with Reagan on immigration. Trump brings up Jeb’s “act of love” comment, says Jeb “weak on immigration” and Common Core.

Carly jumps in but Bash lets Jeb tout his book on immigration, tell Trump deportation too expensive and cruel.

Bash asks Trump about Jeb speaking Spanish. Trump touts assimilation. Jeb manages to get shout-out to Christian voucher school in explanation of why he spoke Spanish.

Naturally, Marco gets to do his whole Second-Generation American rap. People who complained about Edwards’ “son of a mill worker” bit didn’t know how much worse it could get.

Cruz asked about Carson’s guest-worker proposal, Carson interrupts to dispute characterization, gets to do his whole immigration rap. Cruz asked if Carson is for “amnesty.” Cruz responds by praising Trump for making immigration issue, sidesteps Carson, attacks whole field for supporting amnesty in past when he never has.

Tapper figures Cruz is talking about Rubio, who does his standard, revised, immigration rap. B-o–r-i-n-g!

So now Carson asked why his plan isn’t amnesty. Kinda off, since he’s not for path to citizenship.

Trump asked to explain to Fiorina why it’s possible to get rid of birthright citizenship. After vaguely alluding to legal scholars, Trump says we’re the only country “dumb enough” to grant citizenship so easily.

Fiorina once again makes a good move, shifting to attack on Obama and Democrats. Trump agrees.

Paul agrees with Trump, as he has before, on birthright citizenship. Sorta forget he was up there.

Whoa. Mild intro to jobs/employment segment quickly turns to Trump quote on Fiorina’s lousy record at HP. She does the best she can with that, making her firing a badge of rebellious honor.

Trump gamely goes after Fiorina, quotes Yale business professor calling her business leadership “catastrophic,” Fiorina says Yalie a Democrat, then bashes Trump on debt and bankruptcy.

Christie’s name mentioned, gets the high lob to criticize Trump/Fiorina fight. “We don’t want to hear about your careers!” Big cheers.

Kasich asked about hedge-fund loophole, says he still supports it, then switches into his resume. Wonder why they’re not interrupting him? As he goes on and on, we’ll go to another thread.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.