Trump kept himself as the center of attention at the next 11 debates. Aside from a couple of days in November 2015, he was the polling leader for the rest of the primary. Moderators would challenge him by noting what “experts say” or asking him to “share your proof with the American people” about some absurd claim and Trump would talk about why “we don’t win anymore” or how the press is “a very dishonest lot.”

Whenever Trump would be challenged about his personal criticisms of other candidates he would escalate. “I never attacked him on his looks and believe me there’s plenty of subject matter there,” he said about Rand Paul in the second debate. The purpose was to remain the focus at all costs, and it worked. The rules said that if another candidate mentioned you then you got to respond. Trump made sure he was mentioned…

He lies: When Jeb Bush accurately says Trump lobbied him on casino gambling in Florida, Trump admonishes, “Don’t make things up!” He cites unnamed experts endorsing his views: “Some of the greatest scholars agree with me,” he tells Carly Fiorina about birthright citizenship. He brags about his scandals: “I used the laws of the country to my benefit,” he said of his company’s multiple bankruptcies. “I’m sorry.”