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Things get feisty in South Carolina GOP debate

GOP 2016 Debate(15)

@PatriciaMazzei

For a few moments Saturday, the Republican presidential debate took on the air of a wrestling match — one with so many bouts they were difficult to keep separate.

At the center of them all was one man: Donald Trump.

There was Trump versus Jeb Bush. Trump versus the specter of George W. Bush. Trump versus Jeb Bush aided by Marco Rubio. Trump versus Ted Cruz. Trump versus a hostile audience that booed him, and booed him, and booed him again.

Suddenly, mainstream Republican fears about Trump’s dramatic rise — following his decisive win in last week’s New Hampshire primary — had a palpable sense of urgency.

In the words of one of the candidates, Ohio Gov. John Kasich: “This is just crazy. This is just nuts. Jeez — oh, man!”

South Carolina, which hosted the debate in the GOP stronghold of Greenville, again lived up to its reputation as the premier stage for Republican rough-and-tumble campaigning. The boxing metaphors — jabs, punches, knockouts — so overused in politics for once seemed appropriate.

More here.

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