If you missed Thursday night's Republican debate, you might not know that Ben Carson is "everybody", John Kasich thinks Bernie Sanders is a joke, and Donald Trump has friends who buy tractors in Japan -- three of the most important moments from the battle; here are six more.
The showdown, hosted by Fox Business Network in North Charleston, S.C. was the feistiest such event of the election cycle so far. The candidates' contempt for one another came out on more than one occasion, and with the first primaries just a couple of weeks away, it's obvious the pressure is on.
President Obama's final State of the Union address, delivered Tuesday, was clearly fresh in the minds of the GOP contenders. Candidates minced no words in their respective assessments of Obama's record; take New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who called him a "petulant child" and threatened to "kick [his] rear end out of the White House" come the fall.
Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton was the target of numerous attacks as well, with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush characterizing the idea of her candidacy as a "national security disaster."
The Republican presidential contenders will debate one more time before voters gather for the Iowa caucus. The next GOP showdown will be on Thursday, January 28 on Fox News.
Until then, catch six of the biggest moments of last night's event.
1. Trump Contemplates Losing
Think Trump has a confidence problem? Not likely, but he did show the world on Thursday that he's thought about what happens if he loses the primary race.
When Ted Cruz extended the invitation to consider Trump for his VP slot when he wins the nomination, the businessman spurned the offer. "I'll go back to building buildings if it doesn't work out," he said.
Trump has a plan, too, for if he manages to capture the White House in November. When asked whether he would put his multi-billion-dollar fortune into a blind trust (a requirement for all presidents when it comes to managing their wealth while in office), Trump said he would, adding that he already knows who he would leave his business to -- his children, Donald, Eric and Ivanka. And he wouldn't have any qualms about giving his empire up. It's a plan he's been touting since flirting with candidacy in April 2015.
"I'm proud of my company, but if I become president, I couldn't care less about my company. It's peanuts," he said.
2. Cruz Answers Tough Questions on Campaign Loans and His Canadian Birth
Heading into Thursday evening, there was little doubt that Ted Cruz was going to have to answer some tough questions. Debate moderators Neil Cavuto and Maria Bartiromo wasted no time in getting to it.
One of the first question for the Texas senator Thursday was about a New York Times piece Wednesday reporting that he had received hundreds of thousands of dollars in improperly disclosed loans from Goldman Sachs and Citibank to fund his 2012 Senate bid.
Cruz, ever the savvy debater, used the opportunity to attack the media, a favorite (and successful) move for candidates.
"Thank you for passing on that hit piece on the front page of The New York Times. You know, the nice thing about the mainstream media, they don't hide their views," he said, explaining that he and the publication "don't exactly have the warmest of relationships."
He then wrote the failure to disclose the money off as a paperwork error, concluding, "If that's the best hit The New York Times has got, they better go back to the well."
But he wasn't off the hook. The next topic up for discussion: whether he is even qualified to run for the office of the presidency due to his Canadian birth. The subject was discussed for a long time at the debate and provided some of the most fiery exchanges.
Trump has called into question whether Cruz, who was born to an American mother and Cuban father in Canada, fits the natural-born citizen bill required of the president of the United States. Cruz called foul on the billionaire's comments, saying that in September of last year, Trump said publicly that his lawyers had looked into the issue and had no qualms. His argument: Trump's decision to bring up the issue has more to do with his rising poll numbers, not law.
"Since September, the Constitution hasn't changed, but the poll numbers have," said Cruz, who has ascended steadily in the polls in recent weeks.
Trump acknowledged that Cruz's rise in public opinion has, in fact, influenced his latest maneuver. "Because now he's doing a little bit better. I didn't care before," he said. Trump's logic was that Cruz will be sued if he gets the nomination and that the Republican party shouldn't take a chance with that.
3. Rubio Fights Christie and Cruz
Florida Senator Marco Rubio was called to answer for a laundry list of critiques of the New Jersey governor, including his support of the common core, gun control and Planned Parenthood, that he ran in an attack ad. While he fell short of calling Christie a liberal out-right, he cast him as a too-left-leaning politician.
Christie got his revenge later in the evening, when forcefully taking over after the senator spent several minutes battling with Cruz over taxes in a long and confusing stretch of the debate.
The moment was one of the most talked about on Twitter when it happened.
Perhaps Rubio was trying too hard to attack Cruz, spitting off numerous condemnations of the Texas senator's tax plan. He criticized the idea of a "value-added tax," which he said would actually raise taxes, and essentially accused him of trickery in claiming he would abolish the IRS (as he pointed out, somebody has to collect taxes, no matter how simple the tax code is or how low taxes are). When all is said and done, under Cruz's tax proposal, he said, "Now you got Europe."
Notice something missing? No Rand Paul
4. "We Want Rand!"
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul was a no-show Thursday. After being relegated to the undercard debate by Fox Business Network, the libertarian refused to take part in the event at all. But his presence was still felt.
A chant broke out in the middle of Thursday's primetime debate, with a handful of the members of the audience shouting, "We want Rand!"
The Kentucky Senator surely heard the chants as he watched the event unfold and participated from a distance. In recent days, Paul has made numerous media appearances, even stopping by "The Daily Show" to drink bourbon and do his own singles debate with Trevor Noah.
He raised money and interacted with supporters via Twitter, employing the hashtag #RandRally to spur support. He also had some fun things to say.
5. China, China, China
Cruz isn't the only one with a problem with the Times -- Trump isn't a fan either. The billionaire businessman said that the publication had lied in quoting him as saying he would favor a 45% tariff on Chinese exports to the United States.
And then he had much more to say about the country, one of his favorite talking points.
He blamed China for problems with North Korea, saying, "Without China, North Korea doesn't even eat." He then reiterated his position on the country, accusing it of unfairly devaluing its currency to kill American companies and cheat on trade. He claimed the United States has lost four-to-seven million jobs because of China and claimed we also have a $505 billion trade deficit with the nation.
While he denied the Times' claim that he would put a 45% tariff on Chinese goods, he said he wouldn't rule a similar measure out. "I'm totally open to a tariff," he said, though he clarified that he loves China and the Chinese people.
Ohio Governor Kasich jumped onto Trump's China bandwagon, saying the former reality television star is right about North Korea and about the need for America to stand up for itself in trade agreements and in keeping American jobs. "I think we should be for free trade, but I think fair trade. And when countries violate trade agreements or dump products in this country, we need, we need to stand up against those countries that do that without making them into an enemy," he said.
Rubio tackled the China issue as well but took a different angle. While he acknowledged that everyone is "frustrated" with what China is doing, he noted that high tariffs may have some unintended consequences and leave Americans paying more. "China doesn't pay the tariff, the buyer pays the tariff," he said.
6. Where Was Ben Carson?
The ever-reserved retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson didn't show any more energy Thursday night than in previous debates. Speaking for less time than any other candidate and less than half of how much Trump or Cruz spoke, it was at times easy to forget he was there. But, he did get one joke in:
Speaking of absentee candidates, can you spot in this article where we mentioned former Florida Governor Jeb Bush? If you're having trouble, ask yourself, is that a good thing for his candidacy?