Newsmax spoke with several Republican candidates who participated in the explosive CNN debates on Wednesday, as well as top GOP leaders — and all had different reactions to the verbal fireworks that highlighted the evening.
"We gained 300,000 new Facebook fans during the debate and $1 million," Dr. Ben Carson told Newsmax after the debate in Simi Valley, Calif.
"Probably the highlight was when I said to Donald Trump that he's an OK doctor."
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Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said preserving the American way of life was one of the more important issues on the agenda.
"Of all the issues, if we don't really adhere to who we are as a people and the balance of power, I really worry about the long-term impact for the country," he said.
Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, said of the varying opinions on how to solve the nation’s border crisis:
"There's a lot of different opinions on what we need to do to secure the border. I mean, I don't think that Hispanics are monolithic. There's so much emphasis on immigration reform that it sort of just boxes all Hispanic voters into that one particular issue."
Rep. Jeff Denham, who represents California's 10th congressional district, said the candidates' squabbling was justified, especially after the personal attacks Donald Trump fired at Jeb Bush and his family. Trump has made remarks about Bush's wife and his brother President George W. Bush's war record.
"You have to fight back. When somebody attacks your family, you better be ready to defend not only your record but defend your family and [Bush] did that very, very well," Denham said.
"9/11 was something that this country had to deal with and I thought George Bush did a wonderful job of making sure that we felt safe. Jeb defended that."
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