Without Donald Trump on the stage, can Ted Cruz take the heat of being the top target? (Which FiveThirtyEight notes he was, at least in the initial portion of the debate.) He and Fox News debate moderator Chris Wallace had a bit of a verbal tussle early on. Chris Christie was asked a question regarding an NSA-related vote Cruz made; Christie's answer focused on his own behavior, not Cruz's. As such, Cruz didn't technically get to respond, which Wallace explained when the candidate tried to. "It's not my question you get to respond to, it's his answer. You don't get 30 seconds to respond to me."
Cruz didn't back down, telling Wallace that the last four questions asked of his rivals were designed to drum up attacks on him. "It is a debate," said Wallace. "Well, no, no, a debate is actually a policy issue," Cruz said. "But I will say this, if you guys ask one more mean question, I may have to leave the stage."