Trump debate flap throws Republican party into deeper chaos

Republican U.S. presidential candidate rivals Christie, Bush and Rubio talk after the conclusion of the debate held by Fox News for the top 2016 U.S. Republican presidential candidates in Des MoinesBy James Oliphant DES MOINES (Reuters) – As seven Republican presidential contenders squared off here for the final debate before voters begin winnowing the field, Donald Trump presided over his own, separate rally a mile away in front of a packed house of cheering supporters. It would be hard to find a more ideal metaphor for the forces tearing asunder the Republican Party. For months, Trump has chosen to operate in his own political universe, violating the conventional wisdom that governs presidential campaigns, thumbing his nose at conservative institutions ranging from the Fox News Channel to the National Review and advocating policies at odds with party orthodoxy.

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