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Cruz, Rubio Square Off in Republican Debate

The fifth Republican presidential debate, hosted by CNN on Tuesday night, featured several clashes between Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida.

The Associated Press reported that the White House hopefuls argued about the use of military force in the Middle East, immigration policy and the collection of citizens’ phone records.

The debate, which focused on national security and terrorism, marked the first time the candidates had faced off since the deadly mass shootings in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif. Most of the contenders touted their commitment to ending the ISIS threat by waging war in the Middle East. Only Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul spoke out against deploying U.S. ground troops to Syria and Iraq.

Cruz criticized Rubio for having proposed citizenship for undocumented immigrants who meet certain qualifications. In 2013, Rubio co-sponsored a comprehensive immigration bill that many conservative Republicans called “amnesty.” During the presidential campaign, he has advocated securing the Mexican border before implementing such reforms.

“I have never supported legalization (creating a pathway to citizenship), and I do not intend to support legalization,” Cruz declared.

The AP noted that each of the senators is the son of a Cuban immigrant. They have been among the top four Republican candidates in recent national polls of GOP voters.

Photo: USA Today

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