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GOP candidates should not throw away their shot to use these 51 sick burns from Hamilton

They will tear each other into pieces.

The Republican candidates in tonight's presidential debate have a problem. They're used to avoiding attacks on each other. But now, the clock is ticking — the Iowa caucuses are just over a month away. And Donald Trump has the biggest lead he's ever had.

To get any traction whatsoever, they're going to take him — and each other — down.

They need help with insults. But how lucky they are to be alive right now.

Hamilton, the hottest musical of the 21st century to date, is literally about political fights. And the Founding Fathers weren't exactly known for politeness. Furthermore, Hamilton's musical DNA lies in old-school hip-hop, with all the braggadocio that implies: Cabinet meetings are staged as rap battles. All of this is to say that Hamilton is a veritable gold mine of sick burns.

So many, in fact, that before the last GOP debate we furnished each candidate with the appropriate sick Hamilton burn to use on (nearly) every other candidate. Tragically, none of them got used. So here they are again — with a few updates to account for recent developments.

Some of them sound surprisingly plausible; others we just wish were plausible. Maybe someone on Jeb Bush's staff can print out a copy for him?

Donald Trump

Donald Trump
(Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty)
  • To Ben Carson, who's dropped precipitously in the polls: "That's one less thing to worry about." (Jefferson and Madison, "The Reynolds Pamphlet")
  • To Ted Cruz, who's not so secretly hoping he can swoop in and take Trump's support after Trump collapses: "I'm gonna need a right-hand man." (Washington, "Right Hand Man")
  • To Marco Rubio, whom Trump keeps mocking for sweating during an earlier debate: ""Damn, you're in worse shape than the national debt is in." (Hamilton to Madison, "Cabinet Battle #1")
  • To Jeb Bush, whose brother Trump has blamed for 9/11: "Your father’s a scoundrel; and so, it seems, are you." (George to Philip, "Blow Us All Away")
  • To Carly Fiorina: "Talk less, smile more." (Burr to Hamilton)
  • On John Kasich: "YO, WHO THE EFF IS THIS?" ("Non-Stop")
  • On Rand Paul: "Well, he's gonna lose, that's just defeatist." ("The Election of 1800")
  • On Chris Christie, who got demoted to the undercard debate: "Is he in Jersey?" ("Farmer Refuted")

Ben Carson

Ben Carson looking a little bit sad Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images
  • To Donald Trump: "I swear, your pride will be the death of us all!" (Burr to Hamilton, "Schuyler Defeated")
  • To Ted Cruz: "Why do you assume you're the smartest in the room?" (Burr to Hamilton, "Non-Stop")
  • To Marco Rubio: "They don't need to know me. They don't like you." (Burr to Hamilton, "Schuyler Defeated")
  • On Jeb Bush: "He's so elitist!" ("The Election of 1800")
  • On John Kasich: "YO, WHO THE EFF IS THIS?" ("Non-Stop")

Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz
(Erich Schlegel/Getty)
  • To Donald Trump, whose support he's not so secretly hoping to swoop in and take after Trump's collapse: "You spit, I'ma sit. We'll see where we land." (Burr to Laurens, "Aaron Burr, Sir")
  • To Ben Carson, who's lost a lot of ground to Cruz in Iowa polls: "I love the guy, but he's in traction." (Jefferson on John Adams, "The Election of 1800")
  • On Marco Rubio, who can't get rid of swirling ethics rumors: "Somebody give me some dirt on this vacuous mass so we can at last unmask him." (Jefferson on Hamilton, "Washington On Your Side")
  • To Jeb Bush: "For once in your life, take a stand with pride." (Hamilton to Burr, "Non-Stop")
  • To Carly Fiorina: "Sure, Wall Street thinks you're great." (Burr to Hamilton, "Schuyler Defeated")
  • On John Kasich: "YO, WHO THE EFF IS THIS?" ("Non-Stop")
  • To Rand Paul, national security dove: "Ev'ry proclamation guarantees free ammunition for your enemies." (Burr to Hamilton, "Non-Stop")

Marco Rubio

marco rubio pointing
(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call)
  • To Donald Trump: "You're on your own. Awesome! Wow!" (King George III to America, "What Comes Next?")
  • To Ben Carson, not known for his debating skills: "Your sentences border on senseless!" (Eliza to Hamilton, "Burn")
  • On Ted Cruz, who many observers believe will be head to head with Rubio at the end of the race: "It's him or me. The world will never be the same." (Burr, "The World Was Wide Enough")
  • To Jeb Bush: "I'm young, scrappy, and hungry." (Hamilton, "My Shot")
  • On John Kasich: "YO, WHO THE EFF IS THIS?" ("Non-Stop")
  • To Rand Paul: "You are paranoid in every paragraph." (Eliza to Hamilton, "Burn")

Jeb Bush

jeb bush
"I'm not a scientist." (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
  • On Donald Trump: "Smells like new money, dresses like fake royalty." (Jefferson on Hamilton, "Cabinet Battle #2")
  • To Ben Carson: "Welcome to the present. We're running a real nation." (Hamilton to Jefferson, "Cabinet Battle #1")
  • To Ted Cruz, who didn't endear himself to GOP elites by promising he could repeal Obamacare by shutting down the government in 2013: "Frankly, it's a little disquieting you would let your ideals blind you to reality." (Washington to Jefferson, "Cabinet Battle #2")
  • To Marco Rubio: "He knows nothing of loyalty." (Jefferson on Hamilton, "Cabinet Battle #2")
  • To Carly Fiorina, whose political experience is ... slight: "Since when are you a (Democratic) Republican?" (Hamilton to Burr, "Schuyler Defeated")
  • On John Kasich: "YO, WHO THE EFF IS THIS?" ("Non-Stop")
  • To Rand Paul: "Here's an itemized list of 30 years of disagreements!" (Hamilton to Burr, "Your Obedient Servant" )

Carly Fiorina

  • On Donald Trump, who tried unconvincingly to compliment her after insulting her looks this summer: "You hear this guy? Man openly campaigns against me, talkin' bout, 'I look forward to our partnership.'" (Jefferson on Burr, "The Election of 1800")
  • To Ben Carson, not known for his debating skills: "Yo, can we get back to politics?" (Jefferson, "The Election of 1800")
  • To Marco Rubio, who has been weirdly absent from early states: "Missing in action." (Jefferson on Hamilton, "The Election of 1800")
  • To Jeb Bush, famously "low-energy": "The Union gets a boost. You'd rather give it a sedative?" (Hamilton to Jefferson, "Cabinet Battle #1")
  • On John Kasich: "YO, WHO THE EFF IS THIS?" ("Non-Stop")
  • On Rand Paul, national security dove: "Everything he does betrays the ideals of our nation." (Jefferson on Hamilton, "Cabinet Battle #2")

John Kasich

  • On Donald Trump, whose rhetoric he's criticized: "Somebody has to stand up to his mouth!" (Burr on Hamilton, "Washington On Your Side")
  • To Ben Carson, not known for his debating skills: "It's hard to listen to you with a straight face." (Hamilton to Samuel Seabury, "Farmer Refuted")
  • To Ted Cruz, one of many Republicans who disagree with Kasich's moralizing on Medicaid expansion: "You accumulate debt, you accumulate power, yet in their hour of need you forget." (Jefferson to Hamilton, "Cabinet Battle #2")
  • On Marco Rubio: "Reticent, there isn't a plan he doesn't jettison." (Hamilton on Jefferson, "Cabinet Battle #1")
  • To Jeb Bush: "Is there anything you wouldn't do?" (Hamilton to Burr, "The Election of 1800")
  • To Carly Fiorina, and repping Ohio: "We create. You just wanna move our money around." (Jefferson to Hamilton, "Cabinet Battle #1)
  • To Rand Paul: "Do you know how hard it is to lead?" (King George III to America, "What Comes Next?")

Rand Paul

  • On Donald Trump: "So he'd double the size of our government. Wasn't the trouble with much of our previous government size?" (Madison on Jefferson, "It Must Be Nice")
  • To Ben Carson: "I'm sorry, is this not your speed?" (Washington to Lee, "Stay Alive")
  • To Ted Cruz, whose Senate colleagues hate him: "You stand only for yourself. It's what you do." (Hamilton to Burr, "Your Obedient Servant")
  • To Marco Rubio: "If we try to fight in every revolution in the world, we never stop, where do we draw the line?" (Hamilton to Jefferson, "Cabinet Battle #2")
  • To Jeb Bush: "When you tried to tax our tea, we got frisky. Imagine what gon' happen when you try to tax our whiskey." (Jefferson to Hamilton, "Cabinet Battle #1")