Republican debate took different tone Thursday night

The final four Republican candidates debated in Coral Gables, Florida on Thursday

The final four Republican candidates debated in Coral Gables, Florida on Thursday

CORAL GABLES, Florida (CNN) – The Republican presidential candidates are playing nice.

Instead of mudslinging, inappropriate innuendos and shouting, the GOP debate had calm and collected discourse.

“I cannot believe how civil it’s been up here,” said presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Apparently, the candidates were just as surprised as the crowd.

During the Republican debate in Coral Gables, Florida, the final four Republicans running for president were for the most part respectful as they discussed policy.

“I’d be maybe running for president of Croatia if it weren’t for immigration,” Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Immigration is a key issue for Florida. One hot topic was a visa program called H-1B, encouraging legal immigration for highly-skilled workers.

“i know the H-1B very well. I use it. I shouldn’t be allowed to use it,” Trump said.

Trump was also asked about his recent comments on Muslims.

“You told CNN, ‘Islam hates that.’ Did you mean all 1.6 billion Muslims?” asked host Jake Tapper.

“I mean a lot of them. I mean a lot of them,” Trump replied.

The debate is a make-or-break moment for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who was quick to remind the crowd that he is in his home state.

“My mother who happens to be here today. I’m against any changes to S.S. that are bad for my mother,” Rubio said.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz also used his roots to connect to Florida voters.

“Fifty-nine years ago, Florida welcomed my father from Cuba as he stepped off the boat from Cuba onto Key West,” he said.

And the front-runner sent a message to his party. If he gets the votes, he should be the Republican nominee.

“The Republican establishment, or whatever you want to call it, should embrace what’s happening,” Trump said.

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