Donald Trump was the "the big loser" in Thursday's Republican presidential debate, finishing — in absentia — behind Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, political strategist Dick Morris told Newsmax TV.
"Trump missed a huge opportunity," he told host J.D. Hayworth on the "Newsmax TV Post-Debate Special." "Cruz consolidated himself as the front-runner.
"Rubio was exposed on the immigration issue — and Trump essentially let the world proceed without him," he said. "The question I'm wondering is why did Trump do this? He's not stupid. Why did he let this debate happen without him?
"The only answer I can come up with is that he was afraid to be asked a question about abortion because he's been hit hard with that — and he really doesn't have an answer on that."
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Morris questioned whether the current Republican front-runner will participate in the Feb. 6 debate in Manchester, N.H., saying that "Trump may be out of the debates.
"Rubio tonight did well," he continued. "Cruz did great and there's a serious possibility … that Trump finished third and that Cruz finishes first, Rubio second.
"Trump badly hurt himself. He looks peevish," Morris told Hayworth. "He looks like he doesn't have the temperament to be president."
But Morris said that he knows the developer and "he does have the temperament to be president. He would be a great president.
He has a good chance to win," he said, "but he committed one of the greatest tactical errors I've ever seen a candidate do in a campaign."
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