GOP debate 2015: Republicans face off in Cleveland

Last Updated Aug 6, 2015 11:04 PM EDT

CBSN has full coverage of the 2015 GOP debate.

11:00 p.m. In closing statements, many of the candidates talked about their families and their records. Given that he doesn’t have a political record, Carson went for a different tack — and some humor.

“Well I haven’t said anything about me being the only one to do anything, so let me try that. I’m the only one to separate Siamese twins, the only one to operate on babies while they were still in their mother’s womb, the only one to take out half of a brain although you would think if you go to Washington that someone had beat me to it,” he said.

10:54 p.m.: The last round of questions had to do with the candidates and their relationship with God. Rubio had one of the funnier answers, saying, “God has blessed us. He’s blessed the Republican party with some very good candidates. The Democrats can’t even find one.”

10:43 p.m.: On the issue of allowing people who are transgender to serve in the military, Huckabee said, “The military is not a social experiment” and should not be used to “transform the culture” by “trying out” ideas people think would make the country more diverse.

He added, “I’m not sure how paying for transgender surgery…makes our country safer.”

10:41 p.m.: Would Carson have used military force to punish Syrian dictator Bashar Assad for using chemical weapons?

“We have weakened ourselves militarily to such an extent that it affects all of our military policies,” Carson said. But he did not actually say whether he would have used force.

10:32 p.m.: Walker was the only candidate to be asked about the issue of the many recent deaths of African Americans at the hands of white police officers.

“It’s about training. It’s about making sure that law enforcement professionals, not only on the way in to their positions, but all the way through their time, have the proper training, particularly when it comes to use of force and that we protect and stand up for and protect the men and women who are doing their jobs in law enforcement. And for the very few that don’t, that there are consequences to show that we treat everyone the same here in America,” he said.

10:30 p.m.: Kasich talks about how he approaches the issue of same-sex marriage when asked how he would explain his position if he had a son or daughter who identified as gay or lesbian.

“Just because someone doesn’t think the way I do doesn’t mean I can’t care about them or can’t love them…that’s what we’re taught when we have strong faith. Issues like that are planted to divide us.”

“We need to give everybody a chance, treat everybody with respect and let them share in this great American dream that we have,” he said.

10:29 p.m.: Bush was asked about a Politico report that he called Trump an “ass—-” during a conversation with a donor.

“No, its not true,” he said. “But I have said that Mr. Trump’s language is divisive. I want to win…We’re not gonna win by doing what Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton do each and every day, dividing the country.”

“I am very happy that you denied that and I appreciate that very much,” Trump said. “The one thing he did say about me is my tone and I also understand that. But when you have people that are cutting Christian’s heads off ,when you have a world at the border and at so many places that it’s medieval times…we don’t have time for tone. We have to go out and get the job done.”

10:27 p.m.: Kelly asked Trump about his history of deviating from the Republican Party, including identifying as pro choice for many years and calling himself a Democrat.

“I don’t think they like me very much. I’ll tell you what I’ve evolved on many issues over the years and you know who else has, Ronald Reagan evolved on many issues,” Trump said.

He explained part of his evolution: “Friends of mine years ago were going to have a child and it was going to be aborted and it wasn’t aborted and that child today is a total superstar. And I saw that and I saw other instances and I am very proud to say that I am pro life,” he said.

10:19 p.m. Unsurprisingly, the candidates were no fans of the Iran deal — even Paul, who was the least opposed to negotiating with the Iranians.

“I don’t immediately discount negotiations, but you have to negotiate from a position of strength and I think President Obama gave away too much too early,” he said.

Huckabee raised concerns about Iran’s promises to wipe Israel off the map and leaders who chant “death to America.”

“When someone points a gun at your head and loads it, by God you ought to take them seriously,” he said.

10:16 p.m. CBS News Correspondent Nancy Cordes reports that Hillary Clinton’s campaign responded to Trump’s allegation that in return for campaign donations, Clinton had no choice but to attend his wedding.

“That hurts her feelings. (That’s the only reason he invited her?)” said Clinton campaign communications director Jen Palmieri.

10:06 p.m.: Huckabee and Christie had a back and forth on whether the government should alter entitlement programs like Social Security. Huckabee has pledged not to, while Christie argues for reforms like raising the retirement age.

Huckabee is “not lying he’s just wrong,” Christie said. “If we don’t deal with this problem it will bankrupt our country or lead to massive tax increases.”

9:52 p.m.: Bush once again defended his support of the Common Core education standards, which are deeply unpopular within the Republican Party.

“I don’t believe the federal government should be involved in the creation of standards directly or indirectly…that is clearly a state responsibility. I’m for higher standards, measured in an intellectually honest way with abundant school choice,” he said.

His fellow Floridian, Rubio, was asked to respond and he argued that the Department of Education would always try to turn standards like that into a mandate.

“I think the states ought to create these standards and if states want to opt out of Common Core, fine. Just make sure your standards are high,” Bush responded.

9:46 p.m. Why did Trump change his stance supporting a single-payer healthcare system?

“As far as single payer, it works in Canada, it works incredibly well in Scotland, it could have worked in a different age, which is the age you’re talking about…what I’d like to see is a private system without the artificial lines around every state. I have a big company with thousands and thousands of employees, and if I’m negotiating in New York or New Jersey or California, I have like one bidder. Nobody can bid,” he said. “Get rid of the artificial lines and you will have yourself great plans. And then we have to take care of the people that can’t take care of themselves and I will do that through a different system.”

Once again Paul jumped in, proving himself the most eager of the Republicans to take on Trump.

“News flash, the Republican Party’s been fighting against a single payer system for a decade, so I think you’re on the wrong side of this if you’re still arguing for a single payer system,” he said.

Trump responded, “I don’t think you heard me. You’re having a hard time tonight.”

On his donations to Democrats and Republicans, Trump said. “I will tell you that our system is broken, I gave to many people before this. Two months ago, I was a businessman. I give to everybody, when they call, I give. And when you know what, I need something from them. Two years later, three years later, I call them, they are there for me and that’s a broken system.”

He said that in exchange for a donation, he was able to call up Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton and insist that she attend his wedding.

9:42 p.m.: Bush was once again asked about whether he believes the war in Iraq was a mistake, a question he has struggled with in the past.

“Knowing what we know now with faulty intelligence and not having security be the first priority when we invaded, it was a mistake, I would not have gone in,” he said. But he also argued that the American soldiers who died did not die in vain, and that attitude was shared by the families of fallen soldiers he called when he was Florida’s governor.

9:38 p.m.: A back and forth between Christie and Paul got heated over the issue of NSA surveillance. Christie has been vocally critical of Paul for opposing bulk collection of Americans’ phone records.

When Paul said, “I want to collect more records from terrorists,” Christie responded, “That’s a completely ridiculous answer – I want to collect more records from terrorists but less records from other people. How are you supposed to know?”

“Get a warrant!” Paul said

“Listen senator when you’re sitting in subcommittee just blowing hot air about this you can say things like that,” Christie responded.

Paul: “You fundamentally misunderstand the Bill of Rights…I don’t trust President Obama with our records. I know you gave him a big hug and if you want to give him a hug again, go right ahead,” he said, a reference to Christie’s famous embrace of the president in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

9:33 p.m.: Walker weighs on why his views on immigration have shifted and he no longer supports a pathway to citizenship: “I actually listened to the American people and I think people across America want a leader who’s going to listen to them.”

9:25 p.m.:Bush defended his earlier comments from last year calling illegal immigration an “act of love.

“I believe that the great majority of people coming here illegally have no other option. They want to provide for their family. But we need to control our border,” he said.

Then the immigration questions went to Trump, who defended his comments about Mexican immigrants being rapists and criminals once again.

He was pressed by moderator Chris Wallace to answer the original question — what evidence he had for claiming that it was the Mexican government sending those immigrants to the U.S.

“Border patrol. I was at the border last week. Border patrol people that I deal with, that I talk to, they say this is what’s happening because our leaders are stupid, our politicans are stupid, and the Mexican government is much smarter…they send the bad ones over because they don’t want to take care of them,” Trump said. “That’s whats happening, whether you like it or not.”

9:16 p.m.Walker was asked if he really would let a woman die instead of getting an abortion if her life was in danger.

“I’m pro life, I’ve always been pro life, I’ve got a position I think is consistent with many Americans out there in that I believe an unborn child is in need of protection out there, and I’ve said many times that that unborn child can be protected and there are many other alternatives that will protect the life of that mother. That’s been consistently proven,” he said.

9:12 p.m.: Moderator Megyn Kelly listed a host of negative things that Trump has said about women — “Only Rosie O’Donnell,” Trump quipped halfway through (Kelly corrected him and said his comments extended beyond O’Donnell) — and asked Trump how he would defend against charges that he is leading the war on women.

“I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct. I’ve been challenged by so many people and I don’t frankly have time for total political correctness and to be honest with you this country doesn’t have time either,” Trump said, to big applause.

9:10 p.m.:Does Bush understand concerns about dynastic politics?

“I’m going to run hard, run with heart and run to win. I’m going to have to win this. Maybe the barrier is going to be even higher for me. That’s fine,” he said, and went on to talk about his record in Florida.

9:08 p.m.: Rubio was asked to respond to allegations from Bush that only people who are governors have had the necessary experience to be president.

“If this election is a resume competition then Hillary Clinton is going to be the next president,” Rubio said. “This election better be about the future, not the past.”

9:05 p.m.: The debate began with moderator Bret Baier asking the candidates to raise their hands if they could not pledge to support the eventual GOP nominee and not run as an independent against the nominee. Only Trump raised his hand.

“I cannot say that I have to respect the person, that if it’s not me, the person that wins. If I do win — and I’m leading by quite a bit — that’s what I want to do. I can totally make that pledge, if I’m the nominee I will pledge I will not run as an independent. I am discussing it with everybody. I’m talking about a lot of leverage. We want to win and we will win. But I want to win as the republican. I want to run as the Republican nominee,” Trump said.

Paul jumped in and said Trump is essentially hedging his bets, ready to support the Clintons.

“He buys and sells politicians of all stripes…he’s always hedging his bets because he’s used to buying politicians,” Paul said.

Trump retorted that he’d given money to Paul, too.

9:00 p.m.The top 10 candidates in the polls took the stage Thursday night in Cleveland in their quest to become the 2016 GOP nominee. They are: businessman Donald Trump (with a polling average of 23.4 percent), former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Read about how the candidates have been preparing for the debate here.

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