Republican Debate #5
Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee (2nd L) speaks as George Pataki (L), Rick Santorum (2nd R) and U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) listen during the CNN Republican presidential debate on December 15, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is the last GOP debate of the year, with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) gaining in the polls in Iowa and other early voting states and Donald Trump rising in national polls. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
  • The fifth Grand Old Party (GOP) face-off will be divided in two, with nine contenders participating in the main event and four appearing in the earlier undercard debate.
  • The main debate, beginning at 8.30pm EST/1.30am GMT, will feature: Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, Rand Paul and John Kasich.
  • The first debate of the night, which aired at at 6pm ET/11pm GMT, featured: Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and George Pataki.
  • The debate, sponsored by CNN and Salem Radio, will be moderated by Wolf Blitzer. CNN's Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash and Salem Radio Network talk show host Hugh Hewitt will act as questioners.

That's a wrap! The next debate, with the three Democratic candidates, will be held on 19 December.


The candidates make their closing statements:

  • Paul: Claims the greatest threat to the US is its national debt. Blames both parties and says he will reign in spending.
  • Kasich: Discusses what is needed to win Ohio in the upcoming election. Says Republicans will be able to beat Clinton.
  • Christie: Talks about his time as state prosecutor and how his family experienced the 9/11 attacks. He says as president he would protect America from wars being brought to "our doorsteps".
  • Fiorina: Also brings up 9/11 attacks and the actions she took following the terrorist attack. She takes aim at Clinton and the "political class". Says the US needs a real conservative in the White House.
  • Bush: Calls on voters to ask themselves who would be able to protect them better, him or Clinton? He says he delivers results.
  • Rubio: Says the 2016 election is crucial in determining the future of the US. Says with votes, the US will be rebuilt.
  • Cruz: Recalls Reagan's successes and says he will do the same. Says he has a simple strategy: "We win, they lose".
  • Carson: Talks about his mother and says he is not ready
  • Trump: "We have to change our whole way," he says. Claims if he's elected, "We will win again."


A top financial expert warns that Trump's populist economic policies could end up hurting American consumers and potentially destablise the global economy.

"It is alarming that the most visible and recognisable GOP candidate seems to be using his more sensible policies to disguise the more ill-conceived ones; ones that potentially threaten the US, and, therefore, the global economy," Green told IBTimes UK.

"For instance, Trump's immigration policy is achingly naive. If it were enforced, the labour force would shrink and real GDP would fall. Both supply and demand would be affected.


Trump confirms that he is ready to not run as an Independent and says he is "committed" to the Republican Party.


Fiorina faces a question on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. She says that the US should work with China on North Korea and that the country should remain isolated.


Christie is asked a Facebook question: Doesn't the Bible teach us to take in refugees?

The New Jersey governor responds: The first job of the president is to protect your safety and your security.


An October survey by the Pew Research Center looked into whether undocumented immigrants should be allowed to stay legally in the US. Opposition for immigrants staying broke down as follows:

  • 17% of Democrats
  • 32% of Republicans

Meanwhile, the percentage of those who believe undocumented immigrants should be allowed to stay legally represent the majority.

  • 80% of Democrats
  • 66% of Republicans


The debate turns to immigration. Cruz and Rubio go at each other again. Rubio is in favour of providing a tough path to citizenship, Cruz says he is not and never will be in favour of providing a path to citizenship. Trump, meanwhile, maintains his proposal to deport the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US.


Trump has his moment to complain about how he is being treated.


Talk turns to Russia and its involvement in Syria. Christie calls Obama a "feckless weakling" when talking to a proposed no-fly zone over Syria. He's asked whether he would shoot down a Russian plane in said no-fly zone. "Yes we would shoot down the planes of Russian pilots if they were stupid enough to think that this president is the same feckless weakling that we have in the White House," he said.


Trump is asked if the Middle East is better off with dictators in power. "It's not like we had victory," he says. "It's a mess." He's interrupted by a heckler and several boos.


Cruz and Rubio are back at each other again. Cruz is asked about supporting Hussein, Qaddafi and Mubarak while they were in power. "I believe in an America-first foreign policy," Cruz says. He says that the US needs to learn from history and that if Bashar al Assad is toppled, Syria will be overtaking Isis. Rubio says Qaddafi was responsible for Lockerbie and the Berlin cafe bombing of Marines. Kasich jumps in and says Assad must go.


Margaret Thatcher once said, 'If you want something talked about, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.'

- Carly Fiorina


It's Paul's turn to take aim at GOP frontrunner Trump for his proposals to close up the Internet and kill off the family members of terrorists. "Think, do you believe in the Constitution? Are you going to change the constitution?" Paul asks Trump. The bombastic real estate mogul responds, "So they can kill us, but we can't kill them?"

Republican Debate #5
Republican presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate on December 15, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is the last GOP debate of the year, with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) gaining in the polls in Iowa and other early voting states and Donald Trump rising in national polls. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Cruz and Rubio get at each other, with Rubio attacking Cruz's voting record regarding cuts on the military. They're followed up by a rumble between Trump and Bush, after Trump is asked how his comments about killing the families of terrorists make him any different than Isis.


Cruz is questioned about his comments on carpet-bombing Isis and whether he would bomb Raqqa, which not only is the capitol of the Islamic State but has thousands of civilians. He deflects and says he would not carpet bomb a city but an area Isis is in control of.


Trump is asked about closing the Internet. He says he wants to rely on Silicon Valley to figure out how to stop Isis from using "our Internet" to recruit young people. He also wants to use "our good people" to "penetrate" Isis. He adds he would be open to closing up parts of the Internet.


Bush is asked about his brother's comments as president that Islam is a religion of peace and whether that is still relevant. "They are relevant if we want to destroy Isis... we can't disassociate ourselves from peace-loving Muslims," he says.


Carson is asked about his position on monitoring mosques with "anti-American" sentiments. He uses his time to first complain about not having enough speaking time and then saying the US should stop being afraid of being politically correct.

When asked who he thinks was right, Rubio or Paul, he deflects.


Paul and Rubio go head to head on the NSA's surveillance programme and immigration policy. Paul attacks Rubio's stance on immigration for allowing potentially dangerous individuals into the US. Rubio notes that the San Bernardino shooter was a US-born citizen and it would have been helpful to have the NSA's programme to weed him out.


Kasich is asked how find an attacker, like Syed Farook, who is an American citizen not on a terror watch list. He says the US must destroy Isis and takes a jab at the Paris climate talks.


Christie is asked about the hoax terror threat sent in Los Angeles and New York City and whether its the new normal. He says that it is indeed the "new normal" under President Obama and will continue if Clinton is elected.


Rubio is asked about a poll showing a majority of Republican voters supporting Trump's proposed ban on Muslims. He says he understands why voters feel that way and goes on to describe how Isis has grown. "The president has left us unsafe," Rubio adds.