GOP Forum Candidates Respond To Donald Trump Questions With Enthusiasm

On Thursday night, only 13 minutes into the GOP forum for the seven candidates who didn't make the cut for the prime-time debate, moderators brought up Donald Trump's leading poll numbers, forcing the Republicans to debate someone who wasn't in the room. Of course they aren't big Trump fans; he's every Republican's largest opponent in the 2016 race so far. So how did the forum candidates respond to questions about Trump?

Texas Governor Rick Perry was the first to field a question about Trump. Moderator Megyn Kelly said to him: "Given the large disparity in your poll numbers, he seems to be getting the better of you." Perry quickly responded: "Well, when you look at the celebrity of Donald Trump, then I think that says a lot about him. One thing I like to remind people is, back in 2007, Rudy Giuliani was leading the polls for almost a year. I'll suggest a part of that was his celebrity." Perry criticized Trump for using his celebrity status rather than his conservatism to gain support for his campaign. "How can you run for the Republican nominations and be for single-payer healthcare?" Perry asked.

Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina attacked Trump for his relationship with the Clintons, saying: "I didn’t get a phone call from Bill Clinton before I jumped in the race. Did any of you get a phone call from Bill Clinton? I didn’t. Maybe it’s because I hadn’t given money to the foundation or donated to his wife’s Senate campaign." She also criticized Trump for flip-flopping on amnesty, abortion, and healthcare. Fiorina said: "I would just ask what are the principles by which he will govern?" Her digs at Trump proved that she was just as tough a debater as Perry and the other male candidates on stage with her.

Despite the candidates' varying political ideologies and plans for the country, there's one thing they all have in common: their hatred for Trump.