Republican U.S. presidential candidates Marco Rubio (L) and Donald Trump discuss an issue during the debate sponsored by CNN for the 2016 Republican U.S. presidential candidates in Houston, Texas, February 25, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Stone
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White House hopefuls Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio unleashed a barrage of attacks against Donald Trump during Thursday's raucous Republican debate as they sought to halt the billionaire front-runner's seemingly relentless march to the party's nomination.Cruz and Rubio mounted a furious assault against Trump, blasting the front-runner for hiring foreigners and challenging his commitment to conservative principles, but Trump largely stood his ground and swatted away the attacks.Rubio, seen by many as the primary mainstream challenger, appeared loose and aggressive against Trump. While he has hesitated to attack Trump directly on the campaign trail, Rubio seemed eager to engage and criticize his rival during the debate in Houston. Cruz joined in the Trump bashing, noting how The Donald in the past has donated to Democrats including former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, former president Jimmy Carter and Senators Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid.Rubio and Cruz know that the stakes could not be higher, while Trump seems unfazed about the party coalescing around a mainstream candidate.
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