Wolf Blitzer: Hello and welcome to the 85th GOP debate so far. There will be 19 more of these. This one is going to last 3 hours, or until Dana Bash signals that she is about to pull out her intestines with a long hook in a fit of despair. Introduce yourselves, everyone. Rand Paul, you’re still here. Why?

Rand: That’s a good question, Wolf. I don’t know.

Kasich: I am here because my daughter hates politicians who yell, so she wanted me out of the house.

Christie: I am here because I am a former federal prosecutor who will be tough on terrorists.

Blitzer: Have you held any other offices at any point, like, I don’t know, governor?

Christie: Maybe.

Fiorina: I am here because I battled breast cancer, buried a child, and was called every B-word in the book. Bush. Burgomaster. Babadook.

Bush: (blinking) Oh my god. I get it. This is a fever dream. None of this is real. This is my nightmare. I can say and do whatever I want. DONALD TRUMP IS NOT A SERIOUS CANDIDATE! This campaign is crazy!

Rubio: I am here because I am beautiful and young and no one has asked me a hard-hitting question about my immigration stance yet.

Cruz: If you do not pick Rubio, you must pick me. That is the only way. I am like Trump, but not.

Carson: I like to imagine sometimes that I am sitting on a luminous cloud made of other people’s dreams.

Blitzer: Okay. Donald. What the heck have you been saying for the past few weeks? What’s going on?

Trump: I have started a discussion that is very important. Before, we did not know for certain that many Americans were severely Islamophobic. Now…(shrugs).

Blitzer: Mr. Bush, you’ve called Trump unhinged. Is he unhinged?

Bush: YOU BET HE’S UNHINGED! HAHA HA HAHA, none of this is real! He’s unhinged, he’s bad for America, and furthermore his hair is not authentic! He’s a chaos candidate. He’ll be a chaos president.

Rubio: I don’t think what Donald has been advocating is good.

Blitzer: What should we do instead?

Rubio: We should do serious, specific things. Those are the best kind of things to do. Specific things that are right and serious, not bad things that are wrong.

Cruz: I disagree. I think we should do specific things that are serious and right, not wrong things that are bad. No candidate has been courageous enough to mention Ronald Reagan yet, so I will: “Ronald Reagan.”

Bash: Let’s talk about surveillance and privacy and the trade-off there.

Cruz: I think there is a simple solution. We should use our surveillance to target the bad guys, not law-abiding Americans. This bill I voted for would give us more sophisticated tools to do that. And I know sophisticated tools. “Sophisticated tool” was my college roommate’s nickname for me. I assume it was an affectionate one.

Rubio: I disagree. I do not think that nickname was affectionate, and that bill would not do what you think it would. I did not vote for it because I was not there.

Paul: I think Rubio is wrong about surveillance. Surveillance is always bad. This is America.


Rubio: Let’s talk more about the specifics of this bill, though–

Christie: YAWN!!! Hey, America, if you’re like me, there’s one thing you hate: policy debates. Bo-ring. That’s why you should vote for me, Chris Christie. I will never bore you with policy of any kind. 9/11.

Carson: Hey, I have’t gotten to talk for a while. I think the real enemy is not terrorism. It is political correctness. One time political correctness tried to hit my mother with a hammer. It was awful.

Blitzer: Who was right just now?

Carson: Oh, I don’t want to talk anymore.

Blitzer: Jeb, do you want to talk now?

Bush: Listen to all of this. This is clearly a nightmare. I am the only real person in this entire room. Maybe in the whole world. Nothing anyone has said makes sense.

Carly: Hey, I want to talk too. I think the problem is not metadata. I think the problem is that we are using the wrong algorithms. We should use the right algorithms, not the wrong algorithms. We should be like parents and check social media all the time.

Blitzer: Donald, recently you said something about “closing the Internet.” Do you know what a crazy thing that is to say?

Trump: Please, Wolf. I didn’t mean close the whole Internet. I meant just close the ISIS internet. “We should be using our brilliant people, our most brilliant minds to figure a way that ISIS cannot use the Internet. And then on second, we should be able to penetrate the Internet and find out exactly where ISIS is and everything about ISIS. And we can do that if we use our good people.”

Blitzer: Do you even know what the Internet is?

Trump: It’s huge.

Blitzer: What is it?

Trump: We could build a wall around it.

Blitzer: I’m serious Donald, what is it?

Trump: It’s sort of a big tree full of kittens and porn, is my understanding.

Kasich: “Encryption.” That’s a real word that has to do with the Internet, I think, unlike anything Donald just said.

Blitzer: Ted, you said you would “carpet-bomb” ISIS and make the sand “glow in the dark.” What the heck does that mean?

Cruz: No, no, you misunderstand. I would not carpet-bomb indiscriminately. I would only carpet-bomb the bad guys, not civilians or cities. Why this strategy has never yet been tried in war before really boggles my mind.

Rubio: Also, we need an air force that is young and vibrant, like me, not old and decrepit, like Hillary Clinton.

Cruz: How do we stop ISIS? “We will utterly destroy them by targeting the bad guys…. We need to focus on killing the bad guys, not getting stuck in Middle Eastern civil wars that don’t keep America safe.” Again, why this strategy has never yet been tried really boggles my mind.

Trump: I think we should win by being a tougher version of ISIS. That is what I think.


Trump: If you were an energy bar you would just be a bar. That’s how low-energy you are.

Bush: You can’t insult your way to the presidency.


Hugh Hewitt: Ben Carson, you haven’t talked in a while. Do you have any skills that are relevant to the presidency?

Carson: I used to cut open the heads of children. Is that relevant?

Hewitt: Maybe?

Paul: Have any of you ever read the Geneva Convention or the U.S. Constitution?


Paul: The

Crowd member: Yayyyy

Paul: And

Crowd member: YAYYYYYYYYYY

Paul: Or?


Fiorina: I would just like to state for the record that I am the closest thing on this stage to Margaret Thatcher.

Bush: False! I AM MARGARET THATCHER! (starts pinching himself)

Christie: I would like to state for the record that I am too cool for this debate. Policy? Pssssh.

Carson: Why are we so afraid of boots on the ground, Wolf? I’ve seen boots. They’re not so scary. I think we could put them on the ground instead of leaving them on tabletops or ledges or other places that might be messy. Put them on the ground, I think. Yes.

Blitzer: We have to cut to commercial, because there will be eight more hours of this.

Donald Trump, left, and Jeb Bush, right, both speak as Ted Cruz looks on during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Venetian Hotel & Casino on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

[Commercial for Michael Bay’s “Benghazi" movie.]

Cruz: Strategy-wise. I’d like to reiterate that we should only target ISIS and bad guys, not good guys. This isn’t rocket science, people.

Trump: I think instead of pouring our money down a big ISIS-shaped hole in the Middle East, which is a mess, by the way, we should have built something nice and huge like a bridge or perhaps an airport. A classy one that says TRUMP on the side in gold letters.

Blitzer: Are people better off with dictators, Dr. Carson?

Carson: Well, Wolf, let me tell you a story. Once I was on a plane, and a man threw a brick out the window. This will be important later in the story. And there was a little boy there and he told me about a vision he’d had, about orcas, but also kind of a metaphor, I think, for, well, you know, that sort of a thing. The real enemy is political correctness.

Cruz: I think we should change only bad regimes, not good ones. Again, it’s not rocket science.

Kasich: I haven’t said anything in a while. I think we should punch Russia in the nose.

Blitzer: Christie, what do you think about no-fly zones?

Christie: We have a saying in New Jersey about no-fly zones. “I’M WALKING HERE!”

Paul: This is crazy.

Bush: Wait, are you awake too? Are you seeing this? This is like a Saturday-morning cartoon.

Trump: I have a complaint. I think the debates talk too much about Donald Trump. Donald Trump is a very interesting guy, huge fan, but I think enough is enough after a certain point.

Hewitt: Dr. Carson, are you in any way qualified to be president? Same question again.

Carson: Well, Hugh, I’ve built things before. I dabble here and there. Once I built a rocket ship from toothpicks, using my gifted hands. That seems presidential. Space.

Rubio: Hey, Ted Cruz and I should briefly attempt to have a substantive debate on a path to citizenship.

Fiorina: DON’T YOU DARE!

Blitzer: Let’s talk about refugees.

Christie: None for me, thanks.

Kasich: Definitely no minors!

Blitzer: Trump, what is your priority in the nuclear triad?

Trump: Yes.

Rubio: Excuse me, Wolf, may I take this one? I know what the triad is.

Blitzer: Donald Trump, would you like to say something negative about Ted Cruz?

Trump: He’s a nice young man.

Blitzer: Ted Cruz, would you like to say something negative about Donald Trump?

Cruz: (long pause) No.

Dana Bash: Wolf, I’m sorry — I — I can’t any longer.

Blitzer: Me either. Let’s call it a night.