Republican presidential candidates have debated how to stop ISIL in the first debate since the attacks in San Bernardino and Paris.
The focus on national security sparked a heated exchange between Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, who clashed over surveillance and immigration policy.
Jeb Bush is also seeking to revive his wrestling campaign by forcibly attacking Donald Trump.
“You will not be able to insult your path to the presidency.” he said.
Donald Trump defended himself at the start of the debate on his proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States, saying: “We’re not talking about religion, we’re talking about security.”
However, the GOP debate quickly expanded to broader foreign policy and national security issues.
Candidates repeatedly addressed growing fears of terrorism in the United States on the same day that the e-mail threat closed the school system in Los Angeles.
The big question that came up in the last Republican debate in 2015 was how Donald Trump’s rivals would try to take down the favorite.
However, it seems that only Jeb Bush received this note. He is the only real candidate to hire a real estate mogul, and if he was as strong a few months ago as he was last night, his campaign could be in much better shape.
Instead, most of the fireworks at the Las Vegas event took place between the trio of first-term senators Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz.
On national security and immigration, Marco Rubio confronted his two colleagues in Congress in often fierce exchanges.
During an evening focused on foreign policy, Donald Trump’s call to close the US border to all Muslims was barely mentioned.
Given how diligently all the candidates avoid the topic, one would never assume that this is a story that deserves world titles and ignites a storm of controversy.
The top nine candidates disagreed on the scope of state surveillance and how to end Syria’s raging civil war.
“If the terrorists strike again … the first question will be,< Защо не знаехме за това и защо не го спряхме? >> said Marco Rubio, targeting Ted Cruz, who voted to reduce state oversight powers.
Another of Donald Trump’s proposals – “shutting down this internet” to stop the recruitment of ISIS – was hotly debated, with the candidate saying: “I don’t want them to use our internet.”
After defending him, he seemed confused by the loud booing of the audience and replied: “These are people who want to kill us, people.”
This was not the only time the crowd played a role in the program; on several occasions, the applause and mockery of the audience paused the conversation of the candidates.
At one point, a hackler interrupted Donald Trump with unheard comments.
Donald Trump has emerged stronger than the so-called A debate under the map, with the four candidates splitting over the effectiveness of his proposed ban.
Senator Lindsey Graham apologized to US-led Muslim leaders, saying: “I’m sorry. He doesn’t represent us.”
Democrats are debating on December 19th, and the two parties will hold debates in January.
The primary presidential race in the state election begins six weeks later in Iowa on February 1 and will last for months.
Each party will officially nominate its candidate in the summer, with Hillary Clinton being the favorite to win the Democratic nomination.
Americans will vote in November 2016, and the newly elected president will take office at the end of January 2017.