Friendly no more: Trump, Cruz erupt in bitter fight at Republican debate

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Trump and Cruz speak simultaneously at the Fox Business Network Republican presidential candidates debate in North CharlestonBy Steve Holland and James Oliphant NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (Reuters) – Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump and top challenger Ted Cruz ended a longstanding truce in spectacular fashion on Thursday night with bitter exchanges during what may have been Trump’s strongest debate performance to date. The New York billionaire and the Texas senator appeared to have a split decision by the end of the night, a sign that for all the bluster, little took place that could derail Trump from his lead position with a contest in Iowa on Feb. 1 to begin the search for a Republican presidential nominee. Beyond the Trump-Cruz theatrics, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida turned in a pugnacious performance with attacks on Cruz and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

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