Republican candidate and business mogul Donald Trump doled out the insults Wednesday evening during the second GOP debate, attacking his rivals on everything from their looks to their ranks in the polls. With Trump leading in the polls, his podium was placed centerstage at the prime-time event.
The controversial billionaire first took a swing a GOP candidate Rand Paul, questioning why the Kentucky senator was on stage due to his low numbers in the polls. He also insulted his looks, noting, "I never attacked him on his looks, and believe me there is plenty of subject matter right there."
Trump then moved on to GOP candidate Gov. George Pataki, saying he couldn't be elected as a dog-catcher. But Trump was only getting started. In reference to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's record, Trump said, “You have a huge budget deficit. That’s a point. That’s a fact.”
Trump then focused his attention on former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Trump had repeatedly called Bush a low-energy candidate, but in round two Bush showed a more aggressive side, engaging in a back-and-forth with Trump about donors. "More energy tonight — I like that,” said Trump in response to Bush.
Trump has been at the center of controversy since announcing his presidential candidacy in mid-June. He experienced a public backlash after making controversial statements about Mexican immigrants, sparred with the moderator of the first GOP debate Megyn Kelly and made offensive comments about fellow Republican candidate Carly Fiorina’s looks. Despite all of this, Trump has consistently been leading the polls, and the numbers prove that more and more Republicans are viewing the real estate mogul in a positive light.
Before Trump announced his candidacy, only two out of 10 Republicans had a positive view of the billionaire, according to a Monmouth University poll, ABC News reported. Now, six out of ten Republicans hold a favorable view of Trump, and 67 percent of Republicans said they would be either “enthusiastic” or “satisfied” if Trump were the Republican presidential nominee, according to a CNN/ORC poll conducted last week.
Retired neurosurgeon and Republican candidate Ben Carson, however, is beginning to inch closer to Trump’s lead in the polls. Trump is currently leading the polls with 27 percent with Carson close behind him at 23 percent.