Fireworks Start Early Against Trump
Rubio, Cruz don't waste time tag-teaming Trump on amnesty, hiring foreign workers
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2016 8:37 PM CST
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., left, and Republican presidential candidate businessman Donald Trump both speak during a Republican presidential primary debate at the University...   (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

(Newser) – For those wondering who was going to go after who in Thursday night's GOP debate in Houston, it was pretty clear early on that both Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz were focused on front-runner Donald Trump—and he gave what they sent his way right back, specifically on the topic of immigration. When Rubio accused Trump of flip-flopping on the issue, Trump responded: "I'm the only one on the stage that's hired people," per the New York Times, adding he had hired "tens of thousands of people" over his career. Rubio perked up and continued the "fireworks," as the Washington Post put it, telling the audience to Google "Trump and Polish workers" about Trump's hiring of foreign workers and how he'd been fined for it. Trump mentioned how it had been hard to find workers in the hottest parts of Florida and that they were part-time seasonal workers.

Enter Cruz, who didn't waste his opportunity to jump in and note that he was leading the fight against amnesty in 2013 while Trump was "firing Dennis Rodman on Celebrity Apprentice," per the Times. Trump's immediate eyeroll came in the form of: "I've had an amazing relationship with politicians both Democrat [and] Republican because I was a businessman," he said, per the Post. "You get along with nobody," he told Cruz. "You don't have one Republican senator backing you ... and you work with them every day of your life, although you skipped a lot of time. ... You should be ashamed of yourself." On the CNN live blog, Leigh Munsil of the Blaze ponders, "Watching Cruz and Rubio team up to take on Trump makes you wonder what the race would look like if they'd done it sooner."