The Republican presidential candidates made convincing arguments during Tuesday night's debate in Las Vegas, however some of them were also prone to making embarrassing gaffes.
The gaffes factored into the results of the Newsmax post-debate poll
, which showed that 79 percent of respondents thought Trump was the clear debate winner. Ted Cruz ranked second with 12 percent and Marco Rubio ranked third with 2 percent.
Gathered below are seven gaffes made during the fifth Republican primary debate.
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1. Carson couldn't pronounce Reince Priebus
— A spate of jokes and chuckles flooded Twitter after neurosurgeon Ben Carson mispronounced the name of Republican National Committee Chair as "Reince Pubis." The Gateway Pundit noted
that it initially sounded like he said "Rinse Pubis" but, upon review, it looks like he got the first name — which is short for Reinhold — correct.
2. Trump flubs nuclear triad question
— Several commentators noted that the real estate tycoon didn't seem to understand a question about America's so-called nuclear triad — because he doesn't know what it is. After his initial answer failed to address any of the triad's three constituent parts, the moderator asked a follow-up question: "Of the three legs of the triad though, do you have a priority?" Trump responded, "For me, nuclear, the power, the devastation, is very important to me." Rubio soon schooled Trump, explaining, "The triad is the ability of the United States to conduct nuclear attacks using airplanes, using missiles launched from silos from the ground and from our nuclear subs." He then proposed his own plan for modernizing the triad.
3. George Pataki called Trump the president
— The former New York governor accidentally referred to his rival Donald Trump as "this president" while trying to criticize the real estate mogul for his proposed ban on foreign Muslims. The criticism obviously failed, and many dubbed Pataki's gaffe a classic Freudian slip.
4. Christie would shoot down Russian plane
— New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has advocated for imposing a no-fly zone over Syria, and said he would absolutely shoot down a Russian plane if it violated that decree. "Yes, we would shoot down the planes of Russian pilots if in fact they were stupid enough to think that this president was the same feckless weakling that the president we have in the Oval Office is right now," he said. Responding, Sen. Rand Paul said, "Well, I think if you're in favor of World War III you have your candidate."
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5. Christie botches name of Jordanian king
— Speaking about one of America's key allies in the Middle East, Christie said, "When I stand across from King Hussein of Jordan, I say to him, 'You have a friend again, sir, who will stand with you to fight this fight,' he'll change his mind." The New York Times pointed out
that King Hussein died in 1999. The current head of state is King Abdullah II. Christie and his family were guests of King Abdullah in 2012.
6. Cruz way off on deportation numbers
— "Do you know how many illegal aliens George W. Bush deported? 10 million," Cruz exclaimed during the debate. As The New York Times noted
, however, Bush only deported about 1.8 million, meaning Cruz was off my an order of magnitude. President Barack Obama, in fact, has deported more people than Bush ever did.
7. Paul completely wrong about Rubio's policies
— Speaking about Marco Rubio's immigration and border security stances, he said, "He is the one for an open border that is leaving us defenseless." This is demonstrably false. Rubio has helped write legislation that would dramatically increase funding for border security, and continues to campaign on a security-first platform.
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