The Republican presidential candidates competed to stand out on crowded debate stage

By Sandra Sobieraj Westfall
Updated August 06, 2015 11:55 PM
Credit: John Minchillo/AP

The Republican presidential candidates – all 17 of them, debating in two groups on Fox News Thursday night – came loaded with soundbites. Here are some of the more memorable ones:

“They call me Veto Corleone.” – Jeb Bush, on his record, while governor of Florida, of vetoing state spending items.

“I don’t think they like me very much.” – Donald Trump, after the Cleveland audience booed him for the umpteenth time.

“Since he has changed his mind on amnesty, on health care and on abortion, I would just ask, what are the principles by which he will govern?” – Carly Fiorina, on Trump.

“He’s hitting a nerve. People are frustrated and fed up … People who want to just tune him out are making a mistake.” – John Kasich on Trump.

“I don’t trust President Obama with our records. I know you gave him a big hug and if you want to give him a big hug again, go right ahead.” – Rand Paul to Chris Christie, on the bulk collection of phone records under the Patriot Act (and the New Jersey governor’s post-Hurricane Sandy embrace of President Obama).

“Listen Senator. You know, when you re sitting in a subcommittee just blowing hot air about this, you can say things like that.” – Christie to Paul.

“Probably the Russian and Chinese government[s] know more about Hillary Clinton’s email server than do the members of the United States Congress.” – Scott Walker.

“It’s time we recognize that the Supreme Court is not the Supreme Being. We need to protect children instead of ripping up their body parts and selling them like they’re part of a Buick.” – Mike Huckabee on abortion rights.

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“I’m the only one to separate Siamese twins, the only one to operate on babies when they were still in their mother’s womb, the only one to take out half of a brain – although you would think, if you go to Washington, that someone had beat me to it.” – Ben Carson, on his day job: neurosurgeon.

“God has blessed us. He’s blessed the Republican party with some very good candidates. The Democrats can’t even find one.” – Marco Rubio, finding a silver lining in the crowded GOP field of 17.