- ON THIS PAGE:
- RELATED INFO:
Closing statements underway.
He opened the GOP debate, and billionaire presidential candidate Donald Trump closed it by promising to fix America.
"We can't do anything right," he said, adding that "we don't win anymore" against China, Japan or Mexico on trade.
Trump has been criticized for, among other things, lacking a detailed policy platform.
He was the last to speak at the debate, and Trump closed by promising to strengthen the military, take care of veterans, end Obamacare and make "our country great again."
Marco Rubio: The VA needs to care more about veterans and less about the bureaucrats.
Ben Carson on racial issues: It's time for us to look beyond race. Our strength as a nation are because of our unity.
Actual question: I want to know if any of [the candidates] have received a word from God on what they should do and take care of first.
Ted Cruz: I have been blessed to read the word of God. If we want to win in 2016 we need a true conservative.
Jim Kasich: I do believe in miracles. My campaigns are a movement to restore common sense. God wants to be America to be strong.
Scott Walker: It's all about the blood of Jesus Christ. What God calls us to do is to follow His will.
Marco Rubio: God has blessed the Republican Party with some good candidates. Democrats hasn't been given one.
Rand Paul: We should not be borrowing money to send aid to other countries, even Israel.
Chris Christie: We need to stengthen our military. Agrees with Rand Paul, but we need to stand with Israel.
Donald Trump says we have people in Washington who don't know what they are doing regarding foreign policy, especially Iran.
Ted Cruz: Russia and China are committing cyber attacks on America. The policy of leading from behind not working.
Ben Carson: We have weakened our military so much it has affected our military policy. We need to shore up military.
Scott Walker: Reinstate missile defense, militarily support Poland, send weapons to Ukraine.
Mike Huckabee: The military is not a social experiment. Does not support paying for gender reassignent surgery for military personnel.
Rand Paul: I don't want my marriage or my guns to be registered in Washington. The government should not impress its opinion on the church.
Scott Walker: On racial issues, we need to make sure law enforcement is treated properly.
Jim Kasich says he supports traditional marriage. But he says the court has ruled for gay marriage. If one of his children said they were gay, he would accept them. We need to treat everyone with respect.
Jeb Bush: Donald Trump's language is divisive. We need to unite people with a hopeful economic message.
Jeb Bush on Planned Parenthood: He was on Mike Bloomberg's board for education policy, did not know some of the budget went to Planned Parenthood. Said he created a culture of life in Florida and defunded Planned Parenthood.
Marco Rubio: All human life must be protected at every stage of development. Says history will call us barbarians for killing babies.
Donald Trump: I've evolved on many issues, just like Ronald Reagan. I hate the concept of abortion and I am pro-life.
Scott Walker wants Iran deal torn up, calls for more sanctions. Rand Paul says President Obama gave away too much, but he believes in negotiations. Mike Huckabee says we got nothing from the deal.
Marco Rubio: Even out tax code for small businesses. Limits regulations on the economy. Repeal and replace Obamacare. Repeal Dodd-Frank Act.
Donald Trump asked regarding how he is qualified to run the country after declaring bankruptcy four times. Trump says that's not true because he's only taken advantage of the laws of his country. And so has everyone else.
Moderator said lenders lost over a billion from latest bankruptcy and 1,100 people were laid off.
Chris Christie: Entitlements makes up over 70 percent of the federal budget. We need to deal with this problem.
Mike Huckabee: Congress should cut their own retirement before they cut social security.
Christie: He's not wrong, but the problem is stealing from social security has already happened. We need to deal with the problem.
Huckabee: The Fair Tax will fundamentally change the system.
Jeb Bush: Fix a convoluted tax code. Get rid of Obamacare. Embrace XL Pipeline.
Scott Walker: While he has not brought in the number of jobs promised when he was elected, he said voters kept him as governor of Wisconsin because they want someone who aims high.
Jim Kasich: We need to lift everyone up.
Ben Carson: People are not stupid. The Progressive Movement is causing people's problems and trying to drive wedges.
Jeb Bush, supporter of Common Core, says the federal government should not be involved. Rubio said curriculum should be designed at state/local level. Bush said no matter what, expectation needs to be high because 30 percent of students are college/career ready.
Mike Huckabee: There are a lot of things happening at the federal level that is beyond the Constitution. Would love to see the EPA, Dept. of Education and IRS go away.
Donald Trump said the political system is broken because politicians take business money and do what he said. Marco Rubio quipped he never got money from Trump.
Donald Trump still supports single-payer health care but wants a different plan, not Affordable Health Care Act.
Jeb Bush: Knowing what we know now, the Iraq War was a mistake. But to honor the people that died in that war, we need to take out ISIS.
Scott Walker: We need to lead again, not from behind.
Ben Carson: Chides moderators for not giving him a chance to answer a question. Says there is no such thing as a politically correct war, and we need to not tie military commanders' hands behind their backs.
Ted Cruz we need a commander-in-chief who makes it clear that if you join ISIS you are signing your death warrant.
Chris Christie says we need to do more to fight terrorism. Rand Paul said he wants to collect more records from terrorists, not from ordinary citizens. Christie said how are you supposed to know? Accuses Paul of blowing hot air in sub-committees. Paul accuses Christie of fundamentally not understanding the Bill of Rights, attacks Christie for "hugging President Obama."
Ted Cruz will support law that penalizes so-called Sanctuary Cities. Cruz said leaders aren't stupid. They don't want to enforce the law. Calls them part of "Washington Cartel."
Scott Walker says he listened to the American people and that's why he changed his position on comprehensive immigration reform.
Marco Rubio: I believe in a fence. the problem is if El Chapo digs a tunnel under the fence we need to deal with that too. Also, many people are coming from Central America.
Jim Kasich says Donald Trump should not be tuned out. He's frustrated and he's tapping into people's frustrations. "We all have solutions."
Jeb Bush says there should be a path to earned legal status as part of immigration reform.
Donald Trump says if it weren't for him no one would have been talking about illegal immigration. Refuses to answer question about his claims he has evidence Mexico is purposely sending criminals over the border, calling government leaders "stupid."
Rand Paul: We didn't create ISIS but we are funding them.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says defunding Planned Parenthood is only one strategy for addressing revelations contained in recently released videos.
Huckabee said during Thursday's debate he would like to see the Constitution adjusted to protect the rights of the unborn.
"It's time we admit the Supreme Court is not the supreme being," he said.
An anti-abortion group released several secretly shot videos with Planned Parenthood executives describing how the organization provides fetal tissue to medical researchers and discussing different procedures and prices.
Planned Parenthood executives have denied claims that the transactions were sales and said any donations are legal and ethical. The law allows abortion providers to be paid for processing fees but not to profit from fetal tissue.
Chris Christie: New Jersey's economy was worse when he became governor. Despite its current condition, the state is much better off.
Ted Cruz: People are looking for someone to speak the truth. Leaders don't honor commitments.
Donald Trump: This country doesn't have time to be politically correct. Says this country is losing at everything. Crowd cheers.
Jeb Bush decries claims of "dynastic politics" with his candidacy. He says he is his own man, touts his record. "I'm going to have to earn this."
On a question about experience, Marco Rubio said if the election is a resume competition Hillary Clinton is going to be the next president. He said he has plans to move the country forward. "We will be the party of the future."
Donald Trump has already fired the first shot. Moderators asked whether any of the candidates would not support the eventual nominee, and Trump said he would consider an independent campaign. The crowd booed.
Candidates have taken the stage for the first Republican debate of the 2016 campaign for president at the QuickenLoans Arena in Cleveland.
Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie and Jim Kasich took the stage just before 9 p.m., which is the official debate start.
Follow the LIVE Tweets below. You can also watch by downloading BHTV onto your smartphone or tablet to watch the debate on Fox.
And, send us your debate watch party photos!
Live tweets during the 9 p.m. GOP Presidential Debate
Live tweets during the 5 p.m. GOP Candidates Forum
Key takeaways from this first round of debating candidates:
Instead of going after one another, the candidates in the pre-debate event focused on who wasn't there: Donald Trump, Jeb Bush and, of course, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Trump, the billionaire real estate developer and former star of reality TV, took shots early from former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. They both questioned his conservative credentials, pointing to his past support for universal health care and abortion rights.
"He is the party's frontrunner right now, and good for him," Fiorina said, adding later: "Since he has changed his mind on amnesty, on health care and on abortion, I would just ask, what are the principles by which he will govern?"
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal went after Bush by name, rejecting the idea that — as the former Florida governor has suggested — Republicans need to be willing to lose in the primary to win the general election. "Let me translate that for you," Jindal said. "That's the establishment telling us to hide our conservative principles to get the left and the media to like us. That never works."
As for Clinton, the former secretary of state and Democratic frontrunner?
Said South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham: "To the people who are dying for a better America, you better change course, and she doesn't represent the change that we need."
NO OOPS MOMENTS FOR PERRY
Perry entered the forum with more to prove than anyone. He just missed making the main event, denying him the chance to show a primetime audience how far he has come since his disappointing 2012 campaign. That first run for the White House more or less ended for Perry when he couldn't remember during a primary debate the name of the third federal agency he wanted to eliminate, saying only: "oops."
Perry got the first question on Thursday night and didn't make any gaffes during the hour-long forum. He appeared confident and well-rehearsed, especially on the issue of immigration, and repeatedly talked about his record as governor of Texas — the nation's biggest red state.
"This is going to be a show-me, don't-tell-me election," Perry said, adding: "And I think that the record of the governor of the last 14 years of the 12th largest economy in the world is just the medicine America is looking for."
FIORINA MAKES HER MARK
Fiorina, the former chief at Hewlett-Packard, didn't have the poll numbers to make the main event, but they could rise after her performance Thursday.
Fiorina painted herself as an outsider prepared to take on the status quo and delivered some of the night's most pointed barbs against Trump, Bush and Clinton.
"Hillary Clinton lies about Benghazi. She lies about emails," she declared in her closing statement, adding that, "We need a nominee who is going to throw every punch, not pull punches."
Along with potentially convincing a fair number of viewers that she's the candidate to do it, she also won over one of her on-stage rivals.
"I will tell you one thing," Perry said of the recently concluded talks with Iran over the Islamic nation's nuclear program, "I would a whole lot rather had Carly Fiorina over there doing our negotiation than John Kerry."
GRAHAM: WHY SO SAD?
Graham is known for his deep foreign policy knowledge, but also his biting sense of humor and happy-go-lucky approach to his work in the Senate and time on the campaign trail.
That Graham was missing on Thursday.
Instead, South Carolina's senior senator was consistently low-key — lacking the energy of Perry's performance and Fiorina's commanding stage presence. In one particularly downbeat moment, he responded to a question about how he would inspire the nation with a story of family loss.
"When I was 21, my mom died. When I was 22, my dad died. We owned a liquor store, restaurant, bar and we lived in the back," Graham said. He added, "Today, I'm 60. I'm not married. I don't have any kids."
It's a story Graham tells often, usually with warmth that endears him to his audience. But without a large crowd at Quicken Loans Arena to play to, it didn't have that kind of effect on this night.
REACHING FOR RELEVANCE
For several of the contenders, who are barely registering in early national polls, the debate was a chance to stake a claim for relevance in the crowded GOP field.
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who won the Iowa caucuses in 2012, tried to do it by calling for strict new limits on legal immigration.
As part of his "pro-worker immigration plan," he called for reducing the level of legal immigration by 25 percent, claiming that "almost all" the legal immigrants who have entered the country over the last 20 years "are unskilled workers, flattening wages, creating horrible lack of opportunities for unskilled workers."
None of the others on stage, including New York Gov. George Pataki and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, had the sort of stand-out moment viewers — and voters — are likely to remember.