The second Republican presidential debate got off to a strange start, perhaps to no one's surprise given the presence of Donald Trump.
After Carly Fiorina was asked about whether she trusted Trump to be in charge of the nuclear launch codes, Trump's response was to immediately bash Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) for his low poll numbers, even though Paul hadn't even been mentioned.
"First of all, Rand Paul shouldn't even be on this stage," Trump said. "He's number 11, he's got 1 percent in the polls and how he got up here … there's far too many people up here anyway, and we all know that."
Trump's remarks were a reference to the 10-candidate Fox News debate last month in Cleveland. The same 10 were on the stage Wednesday, but Fiorina's recent surge in publicity and polling led her to also join the stage. After Trump's quip, Paul smirked, and when Jake Tapper went to him for his response, he mocked Trump for making repeated "sophomoric" ad hominem attacks and using "careless language" against various candidates for their looks.
"I think his response, his visceral response to attack people on their appearance, short, tall, fat, ugly, my goodness. That happened in junior high," Paul said. "Are we not way above that? Would we not all be worried to have someone like that in charge of the nuclear arsenal?"
"I never attacked him on his look, and believe me, there's plenty of subject matter right there," Trump said to guffaws from the audience. "That I can tell you."