By Paul Bremmer
Donald Trump heard some boos from the audience during Tuesday night’s GOP presidential debate, but he turned it around and rebuked the crowd.
The moment came while Trump was discussing how he would track terrorists over the Internet.
“I’m not talking about closing the Internet,” the real-estate mogul said. “I’m talking about parts of Syria, parts of Iraq, where ISIS is, spotting it. Now you could close it. What I like even better is getting our smartest and getting our best to infiltrate their Internet so that we know exactly where they’re going to be. I like that better.”
At that point, there was a smattering of light cheers mixed with boos from the crowd. Trump noted the booing and was incredulous.
“Who would be – I just can’t imagine somebody booing,” he said. “These are people that want to kill us, folks, and you’re objecting to us infiltrating their conversations? I don’t think so. I don’t think so.”
Trump’s response drew louder cheers that drowned out any boos.
The whole exchange began when Sen. Rand Paul attempted to paint Trump as unserious because of Trump’s position on the Internet.
“If you’re going to shut down the Internet, realize America what that entails: that entails getting rid of the First Amendment,” Paul pleaded. “It’s no small feat. If you are going to kill the families of terrorists, realize that there’s something called the Geneva Convention we’re going to have to pull out of.”
That argument despite many experts’ opinion that the Geneva Conventions do not apply to terrorists.
Paul continued: “It would defy every norm that is America, so if you ask yourself, whoever you are, if you support Donald Trump, think, do you believe in the Constitution? Are you going to change the Constitution?”
Trump responded, “So they can kill us, but we can’t kill them. That’s what you’re saying.”
The debate comes as American is fewer than 50 days away from the first 2015 presidential election season votes.
The word fight in Las Vegas came as billionaire business tycoon Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz were jockeying for the lead.
Going into the CNN debate, Cruz and Trump were locked in a two-man race in Iowa. Cruz was up 31 percent to Trump’s 21 percent among likely Republican caucus-goers, according to a Bloomberg Politics-Des Moines Register poll published Saturday. Another Iowa poll conducted Dec. 7-10 by Loras College had Cruz leading Trump by 29.7 percent to 23.4 percent on Tuesday.
But nationally, Cruz is still lagging far behind Trump, who hit a new high of 41 percent in a Monmouth University poll conducted Dec. 10-13. In that poll, Cruz landed at just 14 percent.
In yet another national poll by ABC News and the Washington Post, Trump trounced Cruz by 23 points. Trump’s surge came after the GOP front-runner proposed a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S. until Congress can get a handle on the issue of terror.