By Cooper Allen
February 26, 2016
Well, that didn't take long.
At Thursday night's Republican debate in Houston, the gloves came off early between Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz on illegal immigration. It's been an issue that's pitted Rubio and Cruz against each other in recent debates, but they found common cause Thursday.
Trump started things off, when asked by Wolf Blitzer about differences between his plan on immigration and Cruz's, saying that the Texas senator was "in charge of amnesty." He also defended his proposal, saying "the best of them will come back. But they're going to come back through a process."
When the questioning made its way to Rubio, things escalated. He said most of Trump's stances on undocumented immigrants were "new" to him and jabbed at him for bringing in people from other countries to work for him.
Trump defended his past business practices, saying "you could not get help" for certain seasonal jobs otherwise.
Rubio then upped the ante by saying the New York billionaire was "the only person" who'd been fined for hiring someone illegally, noting a past case when Trump had been cited for hiring Polish workers.
"I'm the only person on this stage that's hired people," Trump fired back. When Rubio tried to interject during his answer, Trump said "just be quiet."
Cruz then got in on things, saying something we haven't heard recently: "Marco is exactly right." It was a reference to the case involving Polish workers Rubio had cited. He also hit Trump for some of his past donations to members of the Senate in the "Gang of Eight" immigration overhaul effort.
Trump said he's had an "amazing relationship with politicians" and hit Cruz for not having a single Republican Senate colleague's endorsement.
It could be an interesting two hours.
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