Ahead of the New Hampshire primaries, the seven surviving GOP presidential candidates — Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, and John Kasich — took the stage on ABC. The evening didn’t start well when the men couldn’t properly walk onstage, and one of the better (if discounted) moments happened when Ted Cruz issued a slimy apology for covertly sucking up Ben Carson’s Iowa votes. Things got pretty real with a bizarre discussion of favorite torture methods, but the most central theme of this debate revolved around inner-party takedowns.
Mostly, the top three (Trump, Cruz, and Rubio) tried to maintain while three others (Bush, Carson, and Christie) tried to yank them down. All the while, poor Kasich kept assuring the audience that he felt honored to be included. Kasich has been lobbying hard in New Hampshire, which has been his main focus and has rewarded him with a 13% poll rating going into the Saturday night circus. He may have kept that percentage, but we’ll see what happens. In the meantime, here are the biggest takedowns from this debate.