The most memorable quotes from the GOP debate

As for Cruz, Trump took a more personal tack, touting his own ability to get along with others and adding: "You get along with nobody...."

Republican presidential hopefuls squared off Thursday night in their latest debate, days before the big Super Tuesday multi-state vote.

With Donald Trump's grasp on the Republican presidential nomination tightening, the billionaire businessman's rivals get one more chance to challenge the GOP front-runner on the debate stage before next week's slate of Super Tuesday contests.

The debate kicked off with Trump and Cruz taking hard lines on immigration - Trump said he'd deport undocumented immigrants but let the "good ones" back in.

Rubio also joined in, saying he doubted Trump would "replace Justice Scalia with someone just like Justice Scalia". The Texas senator says that he would follow existing law, but seems to dodge the question. Without his inheritance, Rubio said: "You know where Donald Trump would be right now?"

Rubio goes after Trump on immigration.

Not long after that, he took on Trump's declaration that he'd build a wall on the Mexican border, declaring: "If he builds a wall the way he built Trump Tower he'll be using illegal immigrant labor to do it".

"You'll have competition. You'll have so many plans", Trump said.

The wall just got taller.

Duke's proclamation comes the same day that a New York Times poll found that 20 percent of Trump supporters were against President Abraham Lincoln freeing the slaves in 1865.

"Totally wrong, wrong, wrong", said Trump.

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That being said, stranger things have happened in football and it will be interesting to see how this game goes. He said: "It's a hard one, obviously each manager I've played under have all got different attributes".

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On the topic of Israel, Trump said his negotiating skills would help him but Rubio criticized Trump for suggesting dealing with the Middle East conflict was "a real estate deal".

Ben Carson at the CNN GOP presidential debate in Houston, Texas on February 25, 2016.

Trump said that State Secretary John Kerry's deal to have sanctions lifted on Iran - which resulted in the release of tens of billions of dollars from bank accounts - in exchange for a halt on its nuclear program was "a disaster" and has been bad for Israel.

To date, Trump has proved largely immune to traditional political attacks, something he revels in.

But, "when he hits me, oh, is he going to be hit".

After avoiding direct conflicts with Donald Trump for weeks, as the two have become the presumptive frontrunners, Rubio finally brought the heat against the orange creamsicle-haired mogul. He dropped out of the race after a poor showing in the SC primary.

Democratic Vice-President Joe Biden said during a visit in Mexico on Thursday that some of the campaign rhetoric about Mexico has been "dangerous, damaging and incredibly ill-advised". Biden said the GOP candidates "do not represent the view of the vast majority of the American people".

Rubio, seen by many as the primary mainstream challenger, appeared loose and aggressive against Trump. Trump and Rubio are struggling to emerge as the clear alternative to the front-runner as non-Trump voters divide their support among the alternatives.

He said it has to "end at some point", but added that it "wouldn't be fair" to cancel the program immediately.

After Trump mocked Rubio for his "meltdown" in a previous debate when the Florida senator repeated rote talking points, Rubio swatted right back, scolding Trump for spouting the same five things over and over: "Everyone's dumb".

He avoided a similar mistake in the subsequent debate, but critics in both parties will be focused on anything that suggests the 44-year-old legislator isn't sufficiently prepared to move into the White House.

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