Ted Cruz finally took it to Donald Trump, and the crowd ate it up.
As the two leading contenders for the GOP nomination battled over the issue of Cruz's eligibility for the presidency, the Republican debate audience repeatedly joined in on the action -- jeering Trump while cheering on the Texas senator as he defended his ability to run for the White House.
At one point in the bizarre exchange, Trump attempted to launch into a familiar refrain and tout the latest polls showing him atop the crowded field. But the audience wasn't having it, making the real estate mogul pause after a sustained round of boos went up in the chamber.
Asked why he was questioning Cruz's U.S. citizenship at this point in the race, Trump flatly admitted that it was because of the growing threat Cruz now poses to the businessman's presidential prospects.
"Because now he’s doing a little bit better. I didn’t care before," Trump said, as the crowd made its feelings heard once more.
Read more updates from the GOP debate here.
Also on HuffPost: