Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump appeared to stumble during Tuesday's debate when asked which leg of the nuclear triad was most important.
Trump didn't answer, instead saying, "I think we need someone we can trust who is total responsibility who knows what he or she is doing that is so powerful and so important."
He also mentioned he is proud that he opposed going into Iraq in 2003 and 2004 because he said it would destabilize the Middle East.
"But we have to be extremely vigilant and careful when it comes to nuclear. Nuclear changes the whole ballgame," he said.
The biggest problem is nuclear proliferation and "having some madman go out and get a nuclear weapon," he said.
When co-moderator Hugh Hewitt gave Trump a second chance, Trump replied, "I think for me nuclear – the power, the devastation is very important to me."
Hewitt then turned to Sen. Marco Rubio, who decided to explain what the nuclear triad is.
"Maybe a lot of people have not heard that terminology," he said, noting it is the ability of the United States to conduct nuclear attacks from airplanes, from in-ground silos and from nuclear submarines.
"All three are critical. It gives us the ability at deterrence," Rubio said. "Some are more critical than others," especially submarines, he added.
Rubio said the Ohio-class subs need upgrading, as do B-52 bombers and silos.
Rubio wasn't the only person who noticed Trump struggling with his answer.
When asked after the debate by CNN about it, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said flatly, "He doesn't know what the nuclear triad is."
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