Republican presidential candidates participated in the final debate Saturday night before the New Hampshire primary.
The debate began by giving some of the candidates the chance to respond to comments that a few of their opponents had made prior to the debate. The first one was a charge Texas Sen. Ted Cruz made about real estate mogul Donald Trump regarding how his temperament would make him ill fit to be commander-in-chief.
Trump responded to Cruz's earlier statement by insisting that his relationships with a vast array of people, along with his experience of being a businessman, prove that he has the "perfect temperament" to be president.
The moderators then turned to retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson to give him the opportunity to comment on the incident on the night of the Iowa caucuses – when the Cruz campaign made phone calls to caucusgoers before the Iowa caucuses claiming that Carson had dropped out of the race.
While saying that he did not wish to "speak ill" of another Republican, Carson did say this episode is an example of Washington politician's ethics.
I was very disappointed that members of [Cruz's] team would think so little of me," Carson said. "To think that I would just walk away ten minutes before the caucus."
After the debate, CNN – the news outlet Cruz blamed for his campaign's error – tweeted Tom Foreman's fact check saying saying Cruz's claim was false.
The focus then shifted to Fla. Sen. Marco Rubio with a question about whether his experience in Washington is enough for him to be a successful president, which is a theme that was echoed throughout the night.
Rubio responded by asserting that he is proud of his work in the Senate and, before that, in the Florida Legislature. He said, if he is elected, he will will undo the mistakes he believes Obama created in his "systematic effort to make America more like the rest of the world."
Yet when the moderators turned to N.J. Gov. Chris Christie for comment on Rubio's experience, Christie addressed the Florida Senator directly, charging that he has not been "involved in a consequential decision where [Rubio] had to be accountable for his actions," and thus does not have the experience necessary to be president.
Tension between Rubio and Christie then heightened in a back and forth where Rubio accused Christie of being an unsuccessful governor, and insisted he would undo what Obama has done in Washington.
Christie, in response, called out the majority of Rubio's responses as being thirty-second memorized speeches that did not directly answer the questions at hand, and insisted that being a senator does not prepare you to be the President of the United States.
When the moderators turned to former Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush for comment on the issue, Bush echoed Christie and said that, in this particular 2016 race, Rubio is not the best candidate because of his experience, or lack thereof.
The topics then shifted to address North Korea's possession of nuclear weapons.
Cruz blamed this issue on Bill Clinton, and said that America needs to "harden the grid and missile defense to protect ourselves."
Ohio Gov. John Kasich then commented on the topic suggesting that the U.S. needs to impose the same kind of sanctions on North Korea that it imposes on Iran, along with better cooperation with China to handle the situation.
The moderators then asked Trump what he would do, which is when he insisted that China has immense control over North Korea, a fact that he knows through his business dealings with Chinese people and corporations. Trump said it is China's responsibility to deal with North Korea because of the amount of money China is sucking out of the U.S. economy.
Rubio then entered the conversation and agreed with Trump, saying that China needs to do better at controlling North Korea.
The moderators then asked Bush about how he would respond to the American college student being held captive by North Korea. In his response, he said he said that instances like this keep happening because leadership in the U.S. continuously shows "signs of weakness."
Christie then commented on his belief that the country should never pay ransom to the criminals, an action that he asserts Obama consistently does.
The topic then changed to the candidates' stances on immigration.
The moderators first went to Kasich for comment on the issue because of his position that the U.S. cannot and should not deport every person in the country illegally.
Kasich's answer to how he would fix immigration included a guest worker program and taxes and fines on people in the country illegally but have not committed crimes, rather than trying to deport millions of innocent people.
The moderators then asked Cruz to give his answer about the country's immigration policy, and his response included building a wall, tripling border patrol, a strong e-verify system and ending welfare benefits for those here illegally, among others.
The conversation then shifted to healthcare.
Trump said he would repeal the Affordable Care Act and create an environment with competition, but he would not allow people to "die sitting in the middle of the street."
Cruz then called socialized medicine a "disaster," and said "it does not work," pointing mainly to the issue of "rationing" healthcare professionals. He promised that, as president, he would "repeal every word of Obamacare." One of the points in his own solution for healthcare is lowering health insurance costs by allowing people to purchase insurance across state lines.
The debate got heated again when the moderators brought up the topic of eminent domain, turning first to Trump to explain his pro-eminent domain stance.
"Eminent domain is an absolute necessity for…our country," said Trump.
Trump argued that eminent domain is necessary in order for the United States to have the infrastructure it needs.
Jeb Bush then attacked Trump agreeing that when used for the public good, eminent domain has positive effects, but he pointed out that Trump used eminent domain for his own private interests.
SEE ALSO: Iowans Pick Trump Second
Shortly after the argument between Bush and Trump, moderators asked Trump why he is a true conservative, to which responded that the word is a "derivative of conserve," and he believes in conserving money and the country.
The moderators the asked Trump, if elected, how many jobs he would bring to the country and how he would accomplish this feat.
Trump said he would bring corporations back from other countries by lowering their taxes, so that they do not choose to operate in a country where taxes are lower.
The conversation then turned to Christie when he was asked about Kasich's charge that New Jersey does not have a budget or jobs.
Christie said that while he respects Kasich, he was using old numbers and 2015 was the best year for job creation in New Jersey.
On the issue of raising taxes, specifically on millionaires, Rubio, Bush and Christie all agreed that a tax increase is not a good idea.
"We want to see more millionaires and higher taxes won't help with that," said Bush.
Christie made an example of New Jersey to explain why increasing taxes on millionaires is not beneficial, and he explained that when his own predecessors instituted these higher taxes, the state actually lost money because people left the state.
The debate then shifted to how the candidates would fight the Islamic State.
Cruz was questioned first about his idea to respond to Islamic State with carpet-bombing.
Cruz said that the bombing would not be "indiscriminate," but it would target oil facilities, bridges, communications facilities, etc.
Rubio, on the other hand, supports a "boots on the ground" approach that would take away Islamic State's "safe operating stations with grounf force led by a U.S. coalition."
Trump believes the answer to defeating the Islamic State lies in "drying up their resources," such as oil which leads to the group's wealth.
Bush said that the U.S. has been dealing with the Islamic State "incrementally," and he said that is is necessary to be more aggressive.
"Leading from behind is not an effective policy," said Bush.
SEE ALSO: Trump and the Road Never Traveled
Carson emphasized the importance of being "proactive" when dealing with IS, and establishing a presence in the places where it will likely spread before it is able to gain a strong foothold.
The debate then switched to focus on what issues the candidates currently see in Washington and how they would address them.
Cruz said he would undo everything that President Obama has done illegally via executive orders. "Everything done with executive power can be undone with executive power," he said.
Similarly, Kasich charged that Obama has acted like "a king" and said that executive orders should be used sparingly.
Bush agreed with the concept of President Obama overreaching the limits of his power, and he emphasized the importance of giving states more power, while decreasing control at the national level.
The next important topic the debate looked at was that of race, especially in terms of the relationship between police officers and minorities.
Trump said that police are afraid for their jobs because they are treated with "no respect," and they need to have the "freedom to act."
Kasich described the collaborative he formed in Ohio between police officers and community leaders in an attempt to "bring the community together."
The final major topic was that of abortion. Rubio and Bush both emphasized their pro-life positions.
The New Hampshire primary is Feb. 9. Stay tuned to USC Annenberg Media for continuing coverage.