Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Report Card: Rivals Take Trump On, But Don't Take Him Down

In a free-wheeling presidential debate in Houston, the Republican front-runner's rivals came out intent on damaging his brand.
Bloomberg business news

Rubio Catches Fire, Rattles Donald Trump at GOP Debate

Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio at last seized the challenge of trying to slow Donald Trump’s momentum before Super Tuesday. Dropping their long-running attacks on each other, they went after the billionaire aggressively—following sustained criticism that they were making no direct attempt to keep the front-runner from sewing up the nomination in March. But without coordination or emphasis, their scattershot attacks were less effective. Trump was ready to parry and retaliate, showing once again that he can’t be felled easily.

Confronted Trump with voluminous opposition research and a mocking smile, and stood his ground when the billionaire fought back, but also didn’t get any clean kills, let alone a knockout (except perhaps in the eyes of media and political elites). Spent so much time going after Trump that he had less opportunity to critique President Obama or sell his positive message. Still, gets credit for trying to change the game, and will inspire those who wish to see him stand one-on-one on the stage with Trump down the road.