Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Wednesday shrugged off the barbs he received at the final GOP debate of the year, saying he’d been prepared for more criticism as the front-runner.
It was a rebuke to Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, who jabbed Trump the most during the two-hour debate.
“Poor Bush,” Trump said at a rally at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, adding that he wouldn’t mind it if Bush chose not to endorse him if he becomes the nominee.
“I went in there saying, ‘Boy, this is going to be a tough evening,’ ’cause I heard all of them were going to come at me,” Trump told his supporters. “I was prepared.”
Instead, Trump said, most of his rivals, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, were unexpectedly nice to him. Cruz and rival Marco Rubio, who have emerged as the two most popular alternatives to Trump, mostly jostled with each other.
But Bush, the presumed leader of the GOP presidential nomination fight when he revealed his plans to run a year ago, turned his fire on Trump. Mired in the single digits, far below Trump, in national polls, Bush told Trump during the match-up that he couldn’t insult his way to the presidency and called the former reality show host a “chaos candidate.”
Trump arrived at Wednesday’s rally in his private 757 jet, which slowly rolled up to the open hangar where supporters gathered as soaring instrumental music played.
During the rally, Trump also went after Rand Paul, saying the Kentucky senator doesn’t have same “spark” as his father, Ron, who ran for the presidency in 2008 and 2012.
The billionaire businessman was introduced by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who applauded Trump for bringing the issue of illegal immigration to the forefront in his campaign.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
PHILLIP RAY ANTOINE says
MODERATES ARE AFRAID TO COMMENT
Exactly the reason “The Donald” needs to back out. He is not going to have their vote. I personally align with “The Donald” but, am wise enough to know that he is not going to carry the Hispanic vote or the moderate vote on either side or the swing voters. If he continues to become nominated, he will not defeat a Democrat. He is ONLY going to pull votes from people who think he is a great celebrity or businessman or very conservative. It is not going to be enough to overcome defeat the Democrats. I keep saying, please think long term rather than how exciting it is to finally hear someone speak the truth. Long term is looking at him NOT as Jeb Bush’s rival but, as Hillary or Bernie’s rival. You will see a whole different picture in the polls than simply among Republicans. He will not be so popular.
Darn straight – and they should be. Their treasonous criminal enterprise could be toppled with someone from the outside giving Americans some real representation for a change – and exposing the communist losers for the traitors they really are. BEWARE the rigged delegate process, follow it closely, and be ready to pounce on them when they even try to give the delegates of the vote stealers – cruz, fiorina, bush, kasich, carson, rubio – to the runner up to DONALD TRUMP! Such a slap in our faces must be met with resistance – severe, persistent, and ultimate resistance.
I believe that Huckabee would be a great choice as Trumps running mate!
Yes I agree,, Huckabee would be an awesome candidate for vice prez!!!!
I love Huckabee but, he nor “The Donald” will carry the Hispanic or moderate votes on either side enough to win against Bernie or Hillary or Biden if that becomes an issue in the future.
charles rollo says
The establishment politicians are afraid of losing their control, lobbyists, perks and old way of doing business. Trump cannot be bought.
It is time for a NON politician who can with talented advisers make the right decisions for us. I just need to hear more in detail of Trumps tax plan and health care.
GO DONALD! We, the PEOPLE, need an OUTSIDER to restore the POWER to THE PEOPLE!
Don Jusko says
Try Hillary and Obama clubs, they are the ones going to get scared of Mr Donald Trump. He got plans for them as soon as he gets in the door. Go Trump.
Might those Plans be a Future PRISON CELL….Like the Buttons I have….Trump for the White House with his picture and the White House in the background…and the other is H-BOMB Clinton shown behind bars…”Hilary for Prison”…And put the DC DICTATOR and all of his Regime in Ajoining Cells…In Solitary in a MAX Security Prison….since they are all VERY DANGEROUS CRIMINALS…
You are a moron
You are awesome. You are right about that damn Hillary and Obama clubs.
Mr Donald Trump is the best president of U.S. America and great leader.
Great Pleasure to read all of the comments for President Trump ……..in this time in World History DONALD TRUMP IS THE ONLY ANSWER FOR THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA …….THIS MAN CAN RUN THIS COUNTRY AND DEAL WITH OUR TERRORIST PROBLEM WITH NO PROBLEM OR EXCUSES . ..THIS WORLD WILL RESPECT PRESIDENT TRUMP THAT EQUALS RESPECT FOR AMERICA
THEORY IS NO WIRLD LEADER OR TERRORIST ORGANIZATION THAT WILL EVEN COME CLOSE TO OVERCOMING DONALD TRUMP…..I WILL ENJOY SEEING AND LISTENING TO HIM….TELL THE WORLD YOU ARE NOW GOING TO PLAY BY MY RULES…BEAUTIFUL!
I believe Trump will go all the way despite the RNC attempts to derail him. Bush is a loser who’s whole demeaner radiates weakness. I think Trump if nominated should pick a running mate from the remaing field of Republican Contenders except for Paul, Kaisich, Bush, Cruz. I think Huckabee would be a goog choice as VP. Some of the remaining would be good choices as Cabinet Members such as Christie as Attorney General; Carson as Sec. of Health, Education & Welfare ,just to name a few. i strongly believe that the Sec. of Defense should come from someone with background of career military suvh as one of the Generals Obama forced out or even Ret.Col. Allen West.
GO DONALD and KICK SOME ASS ALONG THE WAY
Rudy Binder says
Knows how to take names and kick ass and not stop until every name is taken and every ass is kicked.
Donald, you are what this country needs. You tell it like it is, the truth about what is going on and how that has to change and you are the man president Donald Trump to make our America great again.
Vote Trump!!!! ‘Nuff said!!!
TRUMP : I say (January 01 2016).
Mark Rossmeisl says
Not one person out there could find something negative in this blog. That says a lot. Trump is the kind of man that follows his gut and is usually right. His gut tells him that ….yes I will become your next pres. Can’t wait to get rid of these corrupt folks!
Dan Katz says
TRUMP ALL THE WAY TO DC!
Yes and I think as well that the Huckster would be a great VP. He knows the ropes and knows the LORD and HIS Word.
WE the people need some real Spiritual leadership. We are in the WAR of our lifetime. NO time to mess around with these clowns anymore. I shudder to think that we have another whole year of this mess. Every week Pres 0 (zero) rolls out some other way to undermine our country. GOD save America. Lets all pray for OUR NEXT PRESIDENT DJ TRUMP
I despise Hillary, unfortunately, she will clobber Trump in “one on one” debates. Trump is an expert at tirades, and if he were lecturing a 3 year old, I am sure that would have an effect. H will be armed with facts (some made up, but smooth and buttery) , Trump will be loaded with insults and snarky comments.She is a liar, and he is a snake oil salesman, straight out of the 1800’s. These are dismal times.
Exactly my point, Jacob. If we continue to back Trump and push him through, he IS GOING TO LOSE to Bernie or Hillary because he is not going to have the Hispanic or moderate swing voters. He may win against another Republican but, will lose to the Democrat. I just wish people would look toward who is best suited to go up against Hillary, Bernie or Biden rather than simply being enamored by his acting even if he speaks the truth. He is too dramatic and anti-immigrant to carry the LEGAL Hispanic vote and over the top conservative to ever carry the moderate swing voters needed to defeat the Democrats. We will lose and it will be another 4 years of America sinking further into a dismal quagmire of Democrat socialistic/communistic ideology moving into fruition.
David Alaniz says
President Trump will need to pick a conservative vp. Ted Cruz has received the endorsements from the evangelicals already. We need a right wing ticket to win. Enough with the moderate crap. Bring back President Reagan I say…
I am religious and I am not voting for Cruz my personnel opinion is that he can be bought. Trump 2016
David, I am in agreement we need a conservative right-wing government. I am a veteran and a conservative but, unfortunately, we cannot defeat the Democrats with JUST conservative voters. I hope you can see this. What is going to happen is Trump or Cruz can certainly win the Republican nomination because we are talking about conservatives to begin with but, when it comes to the REAL DEAL and they are up against Hillary, Bernie or Biden, bad things are going to happen because WE NEED the LEGAL Hispanic vote and the moderate swing voters in order to win. See what I am saying? We need to seriously look at which one of these nominees are best suited to carry those in order to defeat the Democrats or we are looking at another four years of this wretched dirty corrupt criminal government. Trump has to know this, right? He has to know he is not going to pull those groups. He is friends with Hillary and he has said if he is president, he will not send Hillary to jail, right? Unless something has changed that I am unaware of.
Best to you for however you choose to vote and Thank God for our freedom to be able to vote in a good or bad government as we choose. The price was paid for in blood for that freedom. Just pray we do not lose it.
I am voting for Trump he is the only one who makes sense I hope he is true.
Nick spinella says
Trump is the best of the best,to make America great again