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The top 4 lines from Thursday's GOP debate

Posted at 10:44 PM, Jan 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-28 23:05:03-05

Republican presidential candidates are duking it out tonight in Des Moines, just days before the Iowa caucuses.

Frontrunner Donald Trump skipped the event, but the forum was still full of fiery exchanges.

Here are the best lines of the debate:

ON DONALD TRUMP SKIPPING THE DEBATE

TED CRUZ: "Let me say I'm a maniac and everyone on this stage is stupid, fat, and ugly. And Ben [Carson], you're a terrible surgeon. Now that we've gotten the Donald Trump portion out of the way."

"It's not about Donald Trump," Marco Rubio added. "Barack Obama wants America to be more like the rest of the world. We don't want to be like the rest of the world. We want to be the United States of America."

MORE COVERAGE | Get your GOP debate recap with our live blog

Trump announced Tuesday he would be skipping the Fox News Debate, and instead is hosting a special event for veterans in the Hawkeye State.

ON THE MEDIA

“I would note that the last four questions have been Rand [Paul], please attack Ted [Cruz], Jeb [Bush], please attack Ted,” Cruz said to the Fox News moderator. “If you guys ask one more mean question, I may have to leave the stage.”

Marco Rubio fired back, “First of all, don't worry, I'm not leaving the stage no matter what you ask me.”

ON RACIAL PROFILING

“Everybody is welcome from any race, any country, any religion, if they want to be Americans. If they want to accept our values and our laws. If not, they can stay where they are,” Ben Carson said in response to some GOP messaging on Muslims.

READ MORE | Biden says GOP Primary is 'a gift' for Democrats

Back in December, Republican front-runner Donald Trump called for a 'total and complete shutdown' of Muslims entering the US.

ON BALANCING THE BUDGET

CHRIS CHRISTIE: "Get rid of Planned Parenthood funding from the United States of America. When you see thousands upon thousands upon thousands of American being murdered in the womb, I can't think of anything better than that."

SEE ALSO | Without Trump, candidates take shots at the GOP frontrunner

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