Since day one of his campaign, Donald Trump has promised tough-talk on immigration via plans of deportation and "The Wall." At the fourth Republican Debate (Nov 10), the issue reached a boil -- and for the first time on the campaign trail, he may have taken some body blows.
Asked by moderator and Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo about the effect that illegal immigrants have on the economy, Trump seized the opportunity. "Frankly, we have to stop illegal immigration; it's hurting the economy," he says. "It's hurting us economically, it's hurting us from every standpoint."
"We are a country of laws; we need borders," he offers firmly. "We will have a wall. The wall will be built. The wall will be successful."
Somewhere in the middle of those sentences, perhaps remembering some "Wall" jokes from this past weekend's "Saturday Night Live," a sizable portion of the Debate audience began to laugh.
"If you think walls don't work, all you have to do is ask Israel," Trump shoots back. "The wall works, believe me. You're going to have to send people out."
Perhaps sensing a weak moment from the Republican frontrunner, his competitors Jeb Bush and John Kasich both attempted to pounce. Bush's argument against the deportation of millions didn't get much traction, but the Ohio Governor seemed to finally have his moment in the sun doing something few have -- successfully stand up to the bombastic Trump.
"If people think that we are going to ship 11 million people who are law-abiding [out of the country], just pick them up at their house and ship them to Mexico?" Kasich pleaded. "Think about the families, think about the children."
"Come on, folks," he adds, appealing to reason. "We all know you can't pick them up and ship them across the border."
"It's a silly argument," he insists, taking a swing at Trump. "It's not an adult argument; it makes no sense."
After the audience reacted with applause, the former "Celebrity Apprentice" star began swinging back.
"You're lucky in Ohio that you struck oil," Trump responded, referencing Ohio's fracking successes as if swatting away a pesky fly. After attempting to use Dwight Eisenhower as a kindred spirit (and eliciting another laugh from the crowd), Trump jumped on Kasich again. "You should let Jeb speak," he says of Bush, a softer-voiced third party in the exchange. "I built an unbelievable company, worth billions and billions of dollars. I don't have to hear from this man."
After making such a comment about Kasich, the audience could be heard audibly booing. Elsewhere in the debate, candidates including Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina joined in on pile-ons against candidate Trump. At one point, a testy Trump criticized the latter for talking over everyone, a comment that elicited more laughter since it came from the man many see as the worst offender of that particular tactic.