If there's one thing you can absolutely always count on during a debate night, it's this: No matter what's happening on screen, the real action — aka the only action worth paying attention to — is happening on Twitter. The second each candidate takes to their podium, the Twitterverse sharpens its knives, and its biggest critics get especially ruthless (and hilarious). Tonight, of course, was no exception. The funniest tweets from the third GOP debate, which aired at 8 p.m. on CNBC, came fast and furious, and totally delivered.
Most of the tweets were (unsurprisingly) about Donald Trump, who has proven himself to be the biggest draw at these GOP debates so far. Or, make that any debate. I mean, can we all remember that time last month where Trump gained some 50,000 Twitter followers during the first Democratic debate? A debate that he wasn't even in? That takes some special kind of skill right there.
Of course, Trump wasn't the only GOP candidate getting some major Twitter action during the debate. Rick Santorum, who appeared during the undercard debate, was also trending throughout the night, thanks to that stellar comment about America's choice of beer. And pretty much every other candidate on stage — from Ben Carson and Jeb Bush to Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina, and Chris Christie — got their fair share of mentions, too. This time around may have been way less chaotic — running two hours-long instead of three, and featuring one less candidate on stage than the last Sept. 16 GOP debate, since Scott Walker dropped out of the race. But it was still every bit as entertaining.
And by the looks of Twitter tonight, the Internet was totally on fire.