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Republican presidential candidates (top row L-R) Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, (bottow row L-R) Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie and John Kasich are seen in a combo of recent file photos. The head of the Republican Party on Wednesday said its presidential candidates are unlikely to attack each other in the party's first official debate but instead are focused on ousting Democrats from the White House. Seventeen Republicans, led by billionaire Donald Trump, who has taunted fellow contenders, are seeking the conservative party's presidential nomination. Only 10 will be on stage Thursday night in the first prime-time debate, which could offer a boost in exposure to voters and a chance to break out of the pack.REUTERS/files
  • "God has blessed us," says Rubio. "God has blessed the Republican Party with diverse candidates while the Democrats can't find one."
  • The primary debate featured a much more lively discussion, with Trump, Paul and Christie getting jabs in one another. While all the candidates made sure to attack Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.
  • The debate began with Donald Trump admitting that he will consider running as an Independent if he does not win the Republican nomination.
  • The "happy hour" debate--including Rick Perry; Lindsey Graham; Rick Santorum, Carly Fiorina; Bobby Jindal; George Pataki; and Jim Gilmore--has wrapped up.
  • A clear winner of the "kids table" debate has not been chosen, but many say Fiorina came out on top.
  • Fox News, which hosted the debates, stated that it used polls conducted by Fox News, Bloomberg, CBS News, Monmouth University and Quinnipiac University to chose the top 10 candidates for the much anticipated debate.
04:04

That's a wrap. All the candidates have given their closing statements and are now being joined by family members on stage.

04:03

Carson uses his closing statement to talk about what he's done: separated siamese twins and operated on babies while in the womb.

Meanwhile, Huckabee attacked Hillary Clinton (openly) and Donald Trump (not as openly) in his closing statement saying Clinton is "surrounded by scandal" and does not "know how to lead". He was booed while given his closing statement as attendees believed he was talking about Trump.

03:56

Candidates are making closing statements.

03:55

Facebook question from Chase Norton: "Have you received word from God?"

  • Cruz talks about his father, a pastor, says he reads the Bible and hears from God.
  • Kasich says God wants the US to succeed.
  • Walker says through the blood of Christ, he has been redeemed.
  • "God has blessed us," says Rubio. "God has blessed the Republican Party with diverse candidates while the Democrats can't find one."
  • Carson brings up race relations and his time as a surgeon.

03:43

The military is not a social experiment. The purpose of the military is to kill people and break things. -Mike Huckabee

03:37

Donald Trump he is the "polar opposite" of President Obama and that those in Washington DC do not know what they are doing. Says, "What happened in Iran is a disgrace."

03:33

Asked about gay marriage, John Kasich admitted to being a "traditional guy". However he said, "God gives me unconditional love, I'm going to give it to my people and those around me."

He added, "Just because somebody doesn't think the way I do...Doesn't mean I don't love them."

03:31

Jeb Bush clarifies that he never called Donald Trump a "clown," while Trump says Bush did call him out on his "tone".

03:27

First social issue spoken about: Planned Parenthood and abortion.

  • Jeb Bush says his "record is clear" despite being a director of an Bloomberg organisation that freely gave donations to Planned Parenthood. Clarifies that as governor in Florida, he defunded Planned Parenthood.
  • Marco Rubio also clarifies his comments on aborting foetuses in times of rape. Says he supports life at the time of conception.
  • Meanwhile, Megyn Kelly asks Donald Trump why he has changed his position on abortion and when he "became a Republican".

03:18

Bret Baier brings up Rick Perry and Carly Fiorina's comments regarding the Iran deal during the earlier debate.

  • Walker says he remembers when Iran held more than 50 American hostages and adds he will "tear up the deal" on day one.
  • Paul says Obama did not negotiate from a position of strength but that he does not disregard negotiation.
  • Huckabee, meanwhile, attacks Obama for "getting nothing" out of the Iran deal, including the four American hostages still in Iran.

03:13

Talking about his bankruptcies, real estate mogul Donald Trump takes a dig at Atlantic City in Gov. Chris Christie's home state of New Jersey.

03:10

Both Democratic candidates Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley have jumped at the #GOPDebate.

Meanwhile, Democratic front-runner has decided to retweet the account @TheBriefing2016, which is "fact-checking" certain issues discussed by Republicans.

03:06
Donald Trump
Republican 2016 U.S. presidential candidate businessman Donald Trump pauses at his podium during the first official Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign in Cleveland, Ohio, August 6, 2015.REUTERS/Brian Snyder

03:04

The debate now turns its attention the economy. First up is Jeb Bush, who has promised 4% economic growth and 19million new jobs.

02:54

Democratic candidates have jumped on the #GOPDebate hashtag conversation on Twitter by tweeting their responses to the debate question.

02:49

Donald Trump responds to questions regarding donating to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. Says he's donated to many of the candidates standing on the debate state.

02:47

After several minutes of not hearing from Ben Carson, the candidate is asked a question about water boarding by Megyn Kelly.

02:41

Answering a Facebook question on Isis, Ted Cruz says the terrorist organisation will not be defeated unless President Obama recognizes "radical Islamic terrorism."

02:40

Chris Christie attacks Rand Paul on his opposition of the NSA's bulk data collection programme. And Paul attacks right back. "I want to collect more records from terrorists but less records from innocent Americans," Paul said.

Christie brings up hugging victims of the 9/11 attack, which he says were genuine, unlike Senator Paul's decision to post video footage of his Senate speeches for gain donations for his campaign.

02:35

Amid the responses of the Republican candidates regarding immigration, Democratic candidate Martin O'Malley tweeted the following in Spanish:

02:33

Fox News host asks Kasich, "I know you don't like talking about Donald Trump but..." before asking him to speak about Trump and his comments on immigration.

02:25

Donald Trump is asked to talk directly to Jeb Bush about his comments regarding Mexican immigrants being "rapists" and drug dealers. Trump says if it were not for him, no one would be talking about immigration.

If it weren't for me, you wouldn't even be talking about illegal immigration.