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The real estate magnate holds 42% favorability among likely Republican primary voters in the state, according to the latest CBS News/YouGov data released Sunday. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is in second place – well behind Trump – with 20%.
What made the initial debate so explosive and controversial has a lot to do with what Trump said and is still saying in the wake of the GOP brouhaha.
Here's a look at the declarations Donald Trump made during and after the ninth GOP debate of the election cycle…
Donald Trump Slams Former President, GOP Rival, and the Entire RNC
Donald Trump Declaration No. 1 – The Iraq War Was a "Big Fat Mistake": Trump trashed the legacy of former President George W. Bush during a heated exchange with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush amid Saturday night's debate.
"I tell you they lied," Trump said. He claimed the Bush administration invaded Iraq without evidence of weapons of mass destruction. "They knew there were none," he added.
The remarks hit a nerve for Jeb, whose older brother joined him on the campaign trail just yesterday.
Bush fired back. "While Donald Trump was building a reality TV show, my brother was building a security apparatus to keep us safe," he said. The crowd responded to Jeb's statement with booming applause.
But Trump got in a few more words edgewise. "The World Trade Center came down when your brother was president. Remember that," he said.
Trump's remarks were met with boos.
The ad features interview excerpts in which the billionaire businessman argues that Planned Parenthood "serves a good function."
In the clip, FOX News host Sean Hannity asks Trump, "With the debt we have, should we even give them a penny?"
Trump's response in the video didn't do him any favors…
"We have to look at the positive," he said.
Donald Trump Declaration No. 3 – "The RNC Is in Default on Their Pledge": At the same Mount Pleasant town hall rally yesterday, Trump also attacked the Republican National Committee (RNC). He claimed the committee had "better get its act together" because it "does a terrible job."
Trump went on to explain that he believes the RNC intentionally treats him unfairly. In fact, he suspects the audience in Saturday night's debate was "stacked" against him on the committee's bidding.
"The whole room was made of special interests and donors, which is a disgrace from the RNC," Trump said, according to an ABC News report released yesterday. "The RNC better get its act together because, you know, I signed a pledge. The pledge isn't being honored by the RNC."
"The pledge" to which Trump referred was a deal he broke in September with the RNC, promising not to run as a third-party candidate should he lose the nomination.
"I signed a pledge, but it's a double-edged pledge. As far as I'm concerned, they're in default on their pledge," Trump told the Mount Pleasant crowd.
Donald Trump Declaration No. 4 – "I'm Thinking About [Suing Cruz] Very Seriously": Earlier today, Trump told George Stephanopoulos on "Good Morning America" that he's considering taking his biggest GOP rival to court.
"I've never dealt with anybody who lies like [Sen. Ted Cruz]," the Republican front-runner said.
He argued that the Texas senator was misleading voters about his stances and pointed to his own positions on gun rights and Obamacare as proof:
"My whole thing is, 'Obamacare, we're going to repeal it and replace it.' [Cruz] said I love Obamacare. He said I'm going to keep Obamacare. My whole thing. Every single speech. You've heard numerous of my speeches… He'll say whatever he wants to say. I actually think he's a very unstable person. I really believe that."
If you're wondering about whether or not Trump can actually sue Cruz for these allegations, the answer, according to The Washington Post, is: sure. "Pretty much anyone can sue anyone else for anything. It's why you get weird lawsuits from prisoners targeting President Obama or a blind barber suing to be reinstated at his job," reported WSJ earlier today.
The Post went on to explain that merely filing such law suits – if you're a well-known public figure like Donald Trump – can be beneficial. All the publicity and issue awareness – whether Trump wins the court case or not – are the perks.
Coco Bonds Weren't Such a Good Idea… Back in 2010, regulators came up with a new type of bond just for banks – "contingent convertible bonds," or coco bonds. Under ordinary conditions, these bonds pay a higher-than-average return. But when a bank gets into hot water, it can convert the coco bond to capital – bad news for the bondholder. Here's why you've been hearing a lot about coco bonds and what all this means for the markets…
- The Washington Post: Donald Trump Unloads on Ted Cruz: 'Liar,' 'Dishonest,' and 'Unstable'
- ABC News: Donald Trump Floats Idea of a Third-Party Run Again