SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (AP) – Eleven Republican presidential candidates took to the stage of the Ronald Reagan presidential library in Simi Valley, California, Wednesday night for a second prime-time debate lasting three hours.
The evening featured back-and-forth bickering over GOP front-runner Donald Trump, but also took a substantive and serious turn, with the candidates wrangling over immigration, gay marriage and foreign affairs.
Trump pointed out he was against the 2003 Iraq invasion. He linked Jeb Bush to the war, which was ordered by his brother, who was president at the time. When Trump attacked George W. Bush, Jeb Bush stopped cold and said of his brother, “He kept us safe.” At another point, Bush pressed Trump to apologize for comments he’s made about Bush’s Mexican-born wife. Trump refused and called Bush “weak on immigration.”
Former Hewlett-Packard executive Carly Fiorina, the only woman in the GOP field, made her first appearance in the main debate. Fiorina made an emotional plea for defunding Planned Parenthood, touted her business experience and took aim at Donald Trump for derogatory comments he’d made about her appearance.