The 2016 prime-time Republican debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, kicked off with a bang Wednesday night.
Standing center-stage, Republican front-runner Donald Trump immediately called out opponent Rand Paul, saying that the Kentucky senator, polling in 11th place, had no business even being at the debate.
"Rand Paul shouldn't even be on this stage," said Trump. "He's No. 11; he's got 1% in the polls."
Paul shot back, saying Trump's character and penchant for ad hominem attacks was unbecoming of the nation's highest office and potentially even dangerous.
"His visceral response to attack people on their appearance, short, tall, fat, ugly, my goodness, that happened in junior high. Are we not way above that? And would we not all be worried to have someone like that in charge of the nuclear arsenal?" said a notably exasperated Paul.
The real estate magnate responded true to form. "I never attacked him on his looks, and believe me, there's plenty of subject matter there," Trump said.
"My temperament is very good, very calm," said Trump, adding that "We will be respected outside this country. We are not respected now."