Republican presidential hopes traded sharp blows to foreign policy and the future of the Supreme Court in an often rebellious and chaotic debate on CBS News.
After Iowa and New Hampshire, the race has already moved to South Carolina before the championship on February 20.
Host Donald Trump has repeatedly become entangled with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in a series of tense exchanges.
The lively audience repeatedly laughed and booed the candidates.
As candidates shouted and interrupted, CBS moderator John Dickerson warned: “There’s a danger of getting him in the dirt.”
Donald Trump and Jeb Bush clashed over the Iraq war and the role of President George W. Bush during the 9/11 attacks.
Jeb Bush reacted decisively to the attacks of Donald Trump, a diversion for the former governor, who was initially looking for a “joyful” campaign.
“We should never have been in Iraq,” Donald Trump said.
“They lied.” They said there were weapons of mass destruction. They weren’t there, and they knew they weren’t. “
Jeb Bush pushed back, defending his brother, who will soon join him on the trail of the election campaign before the main primary course in South Carolina.
“I’m tired of Barack Obama blaming my brother for all the problems he’s had, and honestly, I couldn’t care less about the insults Donald Trump is insulting me.” Jeb Bush said.
The death of Judge Antonin Scalia was considered at the beginning of the debate, with most of the six candidates saying the next president should elect his deputy.
Ted Cruz said he was “far from justice” from the court, which reverses conservative legal gains.
Donald Trump said President Barack Obama was likely to elect a deputy, but stressed that Republicans in the Senate should block him.
“Delay, delay, delay,” Donald Trump said.
Ted Cruz later claimed that Donald Trump, who had backed Democrats in the past, would nominate liberal Supreme Court justices if elected president.
“You are the biggest liar” Donald Trump told Ted Cruz.
“This man will say everything.”
The next primary and cacus is in South Carolina next week. The other countries will have their turn in the coming weeks and months.
Each party officially announces its candidate for president at congresses in July, four months before the presidential election.