CNN's first 4 Republican debate questions were about Donald Trump

Donald Trump.
(Image credit: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

Right off the bat, the four GOP presidential candidates participating in CNN's early Republican debate Wednesday were asked about frontrunner Donald Trump.

Moderator Jake Tapper asked Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal if he "violated Ronald Reagan's 11th Commandment" by speaking ill of a fellow Republican. Jindal said he believes Trump isn't a Republican, and isn't serious about being president. "He'll either implode in the general election, or if God forbid he was in the White House, we wouldn't know what he would do." Former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) struck a more conciliatory tone, saying Trump has "every right to run for president as a Republican," and it doesn't "help when Republicans attack Republicans personally."

Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) was asked why so many of his constituents would rather have Trump as the GOP nominee over him, and responded that at the same time during the 2012 presidential race, Rick Perry and Rudy Giuliani were the Republican frontrunners. Former New York Gov. George Pataki went on the attack against Trump, saying he was not going to be the Republican nominee "period," and added, "This is an important election with an enormous number of challenges facing American people, and the first four questions are about Donald Trump." Trump is "unfit to be president of the United States or the Republican nominee," he said, and failed while running casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey. "He said he was going to make Atlantic City great again," Pataki said. "Every one of those casinos went bankrupt, and over 5,000 Americans lost their job."

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Catherine Garcia

Catherine Garcia is night editor for Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.