Lower-polling candidates take part in GOP pre-debate

CLEVELAND (AP) — He wasn’t among the seven GOP presidential candidates selected by the Fox News Channel to take part in today’s pre-debate, but Donald Trump was criticized by two of the candidates.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Trump is “using his celebrity rather than his conservatism.”

Trump has mocked Perry by saying he wears glasses to appear smarter. When asked about Trump, former CEO Carly Fiorina responding by asking her six rivals on stage if any of them had received a call from Bill Clinton before they jumped into the election. She said that was probably because they hadn’t made a donation.

All of the candidates offered similar positions on immigration, abortion restrictions and national defense. Sen. Lindsey Graham went further by saying he supports sending ground forces to fight extremists in Iraq and Syria.

Also taking part in the forum were former Sen. Rick Santorum, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former New York Gov. George Pataki and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore.

The one-hour face-off ran over about 20 minutes.

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