Liveblogging Tonight's CNN GOP Town Hall

At 8 PM Eastern Thursday, CNN's moderator Anderson Cooper will initiate phase 2 of the Republican town hall, featuring real estate tycoon Donald Trump, Ohio Governor John Kasich, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. On Wednesday, Cooper moderated a town hall with Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

Trump had an MSNBC town hall at the same time as last night's CNN event, which attracted fewer viewers than the event with Cruz, Rubio, and Carson. Tonight, Trump is on the stage, so the numbers could go up.

Two days before voting in the pivotal South Carolina Republican Primary (this Saturday, February 20), this town hall gives Kasich and Bush a chance to each show why he should be the establishment favorite against Trump, and Trump a chance to defend his sizable polling lead.

Time for Round 2!

10:35 P.M.

Who would have thought, in these CNN town halls, that Ben Carson would be more engaging than Donald Trump?

Trump hits on good things in his Obamacare replacement plan, but it's still rather simple.

Then repeats the truth -- Obama lied about keeping your doctor. 28 times. "If he were in the private sector, he'd be sued for fraud."

11:15 P.M.

And here's more Ted Cruz Photoshop, because why not?

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Ted Cruz!

I'll make you an offer you can't refuse!

And this is a low blow, but still hilarious.

11:11 P.M.

Final thoughts: The town hall format works really well for some (Ben Carson), but not well at all for others. Trump in particular talked too long in responding to Anderson Cooper's questions. Kasich, Bush, and Trump each gave a forgettable performance, to a large extent. Kasich's compassion, Bush's Spanish speaking, and Trump's waffling on George W. Bush will hit the news, but do little to change the race. One would hope that Trump's attacks on George W. will hurt him in South Carolina, a state which reveres the former president, but will anything stop the Donald at this point?

Last night, CNN had a much better town hall. Rubio performed solidly, as did Cruz. Rubio spoke too fast and Cruz got too much in the weeds, but they each had a good night. The real surprise was Carson, whose calm demeanor really shone, and the one-on-one format helped the good doctor explain himself.

And then there was this moment:

11:05 P.M.

"I think I was really a good parent because I put them above everything," Trump on prioritizing his kids. "I never had a drink and I never had a cigarette."

The Donald recalls, "I told my kids, no drugs, no alcohol, no cigarettes." Good lessons, although I think most people can handle alcohol.

But don't let that fool you.

10:57 P.M.

Trump on his sister's legal stances: "I don't even know what her views are on abortion." She is a very private person, he says.

"I get a lot of publicity, but I don't like it." Uh huh.

10:47 P.M.

Donald Trump declares the Iraq War "one of the worst decisions ever made by any government at any time."

Trump continues to dodge answering the question of whether Bush lied. Anderson Cooper presses him three times, still no answer.

10:40 P.M.

YES! Questioner says he was offended when Trump said Bush lied to get us into Iraq. "Do you think the President of the United States, George W. Bush, lied to the American people?"

"It may have been the worst decision any president has made in the history of this country," Trump says. He blames the migrant crisis in Europe on the War in Iraq.

Yeah, right. Was it really worse than the New Deal? Worse than the Treaty of Versailles? Worse than Andrew Jackson's Trail of Tears? Worse than Wilson's War Socialism?

10:32 P.M.

Trump's face seriously does look like an orange, bruises and all.

10:28 P.M.

Questioner is giving a speech: "In the private sector, if you don't like the deal, you can walk away." Good line, but just ask a question!

She did ask -- about Trump's temperament. "We have to be tough to protect our country," he responds.

What is this "self-control?"

10:25 P.M.

"I'm not a crook." "I'm not a dictator."

Now it's Trump's turn -- "I don't think I'm a bully at all."