While billionaire businessman Donald Trump successfully confronted his rivals on stage, as well as the moderators trying to corner him, other candidates struggled to shine and boost their ratings.
Trump proving to be clear leader
US real-estate mogul and TV celebrity Donald Trump kicked off by questioning the importance of political correctness and labeling it one of the biggest obstacles to the United States moving forward.
"I don’t frankly have time for total political correctness. What I say is what I say… This country doesn’t have [time for political correctness] either. This country is in big trouble. We don’t win anymore. We lose to China, we lose to Mexico, both in trade and at the border, we lose to everybody," Trump said.
Trump successfully faced the question regarding his earlier non-pleasant comments about women, as well as the immigration issue.
"If it weren't for me, you wouldn't be even talking about illegal immigration. […]This was not a subject that was on anyone's mind until I brought it up at my announcement," Trump asserted.
Bush, Walker, Paul debate serious policies
"We need to be much more strategic on how we deal with border enforcement, border security," Bush said.
Bush added that a "path to earned legal status" for illegal immigrants who already live in the country must be found.
"I believe that the great majority of people coming here illegally have no other option, and they want to provide for our family," Bush noted.
Scott Walker, the governor of the US state of Wisconsin, who has been placing third place in the race for the Republican presidential nomination in most national and state polls, behind Trump and Bush, focused on expanding US military engagement overseas.
"I would send weapons to Ukraine. I would put forces on the eastern border of Poland and the Baltic nations, and I would re-instate, put back in place the missile defense system in the Czech Republic," Walker said.
Walker called for national security that "puts steel in front of our enemies."
On the other hand, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul voiced the need for the United States to reexamine its strategy to defeat Islamic State radicals who have been gaining ground in the Middle East, by cutting off funds those who support the militants.
"ISIS [ISIL] rides around in a billion-dollars-worth of US Humvees [High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, or HMMWV]. It’s a disgrace, we have to stop it, we shouldn’t fund our enemies," Paul noted.
The next 2016 Republican presidential debate is scheduled to be aired by CNN and Salem Radio on September 16.
The first Democratic presidential debate is due on October 13, 2015.
The next US presidential election is scheduled for November 8, 2016. The incumbent US president, Barack Obama, a two-term Democrat, will end his second and final term in office on January 20, 2017.