Best Lines of the Republican Debate in Michigan

PHOTO: Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump speaks during a Republican presidential primary debate at Fox Theatre, March 3, 2016, in Detroit. PlayCarlos Osorio/AP Photo
WATCH Republican Presidential Debate In A Minute

The Republican presidential candidates lobbed attacks at each other in Detroit tonight, as they offered their final pitches to Michigan voters ahead of next week's primary.

The debate, hosted by Fox News, welcomed GOP front-runner Donald Trump back to the stage after missing the previous Fox debate.

And GOP hopeful Ben Carson was missing after announcing Wednesday he sees no "political path forward."

Here are the best lines of tonight's debate:

Donald Trump

ON MITT ROMNEY:

"Well, look, he was a failed candidate. He should have beaten President Obama very easy. He failed miserably, and it was an embarrassment to everybody, including the Republican Party."

"He wants to be back in the game," Trump added.

Romney, who was the GOP presidential nominee in 2012, called the New York real estate mogul a "phony" and a "fraud" this morning.

ON DAVID DUKE:

"I totally disavow the Ku Klux Klan. I totally disavow David Duke," Trump said.

“By the way, if you look at my Twitter account almost immediately after the [CNN] program, they were disavowed again."

ON MARCO RUBIO'S "SMALL HANDS" COMMENT:

"He hit my hands. Nobody has ever hit my hands. I have never heard of this," Trump said. "Look at those hands. Are they small hands? And he referred to my hands if they are small, something else must be small. I guarantee you there is no problem. I guarantee you."

ON HILLARY CLINTON:

“I have not started on Hillary yet. Believe me, I will start soon. I haven't even started,” Trump argued.

ON IMMIGRATION:

“I will say though, in terms of immigration and almost anything else, there always has to be some, you know, tug and pull and deal,” Trump said.

ON RELEASING OFF-THE-RECORD AUDIO OF NEW YORK TIMES INTERVIEW:

“No. I never do that. I would not do that, I have too much respect," Trump said.

Rubio shot back: “First of all...that's not up to The New York Times. That's up to you, Donald."

Ted Cruz chimed in: “Release the tapes. What are you hiding in the tapes?”

Trump retorted: “Excuse me, I have given my answer, lying Ted."

ON CHANGING HIS "TUNE:"

“I was very much, like, okay, by the time I went back and studied it and they were talking about bringing thousands and thousands [migrants], I changed my tune. And I don't think there's anything wrong with that,” the real estate mogul said.

When asked about writing in his book, in 2000, where he writes about opposing gun control, but supporting ban on assault weapons. Trump responded: “I don't support it anymore. I do not support the ban on assault.”

ON FOREIGN POLICY:

“We're going to build up our military and get the equipment we want, not the equipment that's sold to us by somebody that gave him and him and not the governor campaign contributions. Okay?”

ON SUPPORTING GOP NOMINEE:

"Even if it's not me?" Trump quipped. "Yes, I will."

Marco Rubio

ON TRUMP'S PERSONAL ATTACKS:

"Trump has mocked everybody with personal attacks. He has done so to people sitting on the stage today," the Florida senator said, referring to the feud between Trump and Fox News host Megyn Kelly. "He has done so about people that are disabled. He has done it about every other candidate in this race. So if there's anyone who's ever deserved to be attacked that way it's been Donald Trump."

Trump's response: "I also happen to call him a light weight, okay. And I have said that. So I would like to take that back. He is really not that much of a light weight."

ON TRUMP'S TRADE POSITION:

“He can start tonight by announcing that all the Donald Trump clothing will no longer be made in China and in Mexico but will be made here in the United States,” Rubio said.

Trump fired back, “This little guy has lied so much.”

“Here we go,” Rubio retorted. “You ask him about the economy and the first thing he does is launch an attack about some 'little guy' thing. Because he doesn't have answers."

ON THE SECOND AMENDMENT:

“The second amendment as I said before is not a suggestion. It's the constitutional right of every American to protect themselves and their families.”

ON TRUMP V. CRUZ:

“When they're done with the yoga, can I answer a question?” the Florida senator joked.

“I really hope we don't see yoga on this stage,” Cruz added.

“He's very flexible, so you never know,” Rubio said.

ON TRUMP'S POLICY REVERSALS:

There's a difference between flexibility and telling people whatever you think you need to say to get them to do what you want them to do," Rubio said.

“Once again, he was pressed on a policy issue to show his understanding of the foreign policy and his reaction was to attack somebody else with a name.”

ON SUPPORTING TRUMP AS THE GOP NOMINEE:

"I will support the Republican nominee."

Ted Cruz

ON TRUMP:

“Donald Trump in 2008 wrote four checks to elect Hillary Clinton as president, so I would like to ask Donald why did you write checks to Hillary Clinton to be president in 2008? It wasn't for business, and how you can stand on a debate stage now with her and say you don't think she should be president?”

“You know, Donald has a tenuous relationship with the truth. I wrote one op-ed supporting president bush's nomination after he made it. I would not have made that nomination.”

ON DEBATE INTERRUPTIONS:

"Donald, learn not to interrupt. It's not complicated," Cruz admonished. "Count to 10, Donald. Count to 10."

“Breathe, breathe, breathe,” Cruz said to Trump.

“Lying Ted,” Trump said.

Cruz went on, “you can do it. You can breathe. I know it's hard.”

BRINGING MANUFACTURING JOBS BACK TO THE U.S.:

“Detroit is a great city with a magnificent legacy that has been utterly decimated by 60 years of failed left-wing policy.”

ON SUPPORTING TRUMP AS THE GOP NOMINEE:

"Yes. Because I gave my word that I would"

John Kasich

ON A CONTESTED CONVENTION:

“As the Democrats tell me all the time, I can get the crossover votes. You see, because throughout this campaign, I have talked about issues,” the Ohio governor said.

“Guess what, it's now March Madness and we are heading up north to the place, to my turf, okay?” Kasich continued. “I will win Ohio.”

ON THE BACK-AND-FORTH FIGHTING ON STAGE:

"People say wherever I go, you seem to be the adult on the stage," Kasich said proudly.

ON THE AMERICAN FRUSTRATION:

“The reason why people are so upset in this country is because politicians all the time tell them what they want to hear and they go to Washington, or they go to the state capital, wherever, and they don't deliver on those promises.”

ON RELIGIOUS LIBERTY:

“I'm of favor of marriage between, traditional marriage, a man and a woman. Who I hope is going to happen after the supreme court ruling is things settle down. If you go to a photographer to take pictures at your wedding, say I'd rather not do it, find another photographer, don't sue them in court.”

ON FOREIGN POLICY:

When asked if his campaign video suggested Trump is naive about the threat posed by Vladimir Putin, Kasich said “I’m not biting.”

ON SUPPORTING TRUMP THE AS GOP NOMINEE:

Katich admitted, "sometimes he makes it a little bit hard, but, you know, I will support whoever is the Republican nominee for president."