TIME Debates

Republicans Train Their Fire on Hillary Clinton at Iowa Debate

The Secretary of State came up almost as much as Donald Trump

Candidates at the Republican debate Thursday could agree on one thing: that Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton was a ripe target for repeated attacks.

Without GOP front-runner Donald Trump there to fling insults — or be insulted in turn — the remaining candidates turned their attentions to the former Secretary of State as the biggest obstacle to the Republican Party’s chances of winning the presidency in November.

Rubio quickly connected the former Secretary of State with President Obama, after Clinton proposed earlier in the week that Obama might make a good Supreme Court Justice. “Supreme Court? I don’t think so,” Rubio said. “If I’m our nominee, I will unite this party and we’ll defeat Hillary Clinton and we will turn this country around once and for all, after seven years of the disaster that is Barack Obama.”

Shortly after, Bush alluded to Clinton’s email scandal in the punchline of a joke.

“I released 34 years of tax returns and 300,000 e-mails in my government record,” Bush said to applause. “To get the information from Hillary Clinton, you need to get a subpoena from the FBI.”

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie favorably compared himself to Clinton in terms of executive experience. “Hillary Clinton has never been responsible for those kind of decisions where they were held accountable,” Christie said. “I’ve been held accountable for six years as the governor of New Jersey and with a Democratic legislature, I’ve gotten conservative things done. That’s exactly what I’ll do as president of the United States.”

Later on in the debate, the punches kept rolling on Clinton, with Rubio and Christie targeting her again. Rubio remarked that she shouldn’t be allowed to run given her record as Secretary of State — in particular, the controversy over her private email server.

“Hillary Clinton is disqualified from being the commander-in-chief of the United States,” Rubio said. “In fact, one of her first acts as president may very well be to pardon herself because Hillary Clinton stored classified information on her private server. And Hillary Clinton lied to the families of those four brave Americans who lost their life in Benghazi. And anyone who lies to the families of Americans who have died in the service of this country can never be commander-in-chief of the United States.”

Christie too jabbed at the Clinton email scandal, saying he alone would be ready to take her to court. “There is no one on this stage better prepared to prosecute the case against Hillary Clinton than I am,” Christie said. “I will be ready. I will take her on, and when I take her on I guarantee you one thing, she will never get within 10 miles of the White House. The days for the Clintons in public housing are over.”

 

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