Trump Cheered And Booed In Republican Debate
The billionaire was the star of the show during the event - but faced questions about his remarks on women and Mexican immigrants.
Donald Trump stole the show during the first Republican presidential debate in Ohio - with a typically feisty performance that drew audience cheers and boos.
The bombastic billionaire was jeered in the opening moments for refusing to pledge his support if someone else wins the Republican Party's nomination.
He also refused to rule out running as an independent, which could split the vote and gift the White House next year to the Democratic candidate.
During the rambunctious Fox News forum in Cleveland, Mr Trump was questioned about his past comments calling women "fat pigs", "dogs" and "slobs".
"Only Rosie O'Donnell," he quipped, prompting gales of laughter from the audience.
The comedienne tweeted: "try explaining that 2 ur kids".
Mr Trump was applauded as he went on to say America didn't have time for political correctness.
The longshot candidate also warned the country could be losing ground to China because it wasn't focusing on the economy.
He left some of the other nine candidates on stage at times struggling for attention from moderators Megyn Kelly, Chris Wallace and Bret Baier.
No contender emerged a clear winner from the two-hour free-for-all, leaving the crowded Republican field potentially more bunched than ever.
Jeb Bush, who is the Republican establishment's favourite, avoided any slip-ups, though pundits said he looked jittery.
He said the Iraq War initiated by his brother, George W Bush, when he was president was a mistake.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio, an immigrant bartender's son, managed to capture the limelight with his personal story.
"If I'm our nominee, how is Hillary Clinton going to lecture me about living paycheck to paycheck? I was raised paycheck to paycheck," said Mr Rubio.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, whose campaign has been floundering, went on the offensive.Gallery: The Candidates Hoping To Make An Impression
Gallery: The Candidates Hoping To Make An Impression
"I don't think you heard me," the businessman scowled back at the interrupting Mr Paul, who uses hearing aids.
Mr Paul also clashed with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, lambasting his "big hug" with President Obama after Hurricane Sandy.
Mr Christie in turn poured scorn on Mr Paul's efforts in the Senate to curtail the government's electronic surveillance.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker scored laughs by saying: "Probably the Russian and Chinese government know more about Hillary Clinton's email server than do the members of the United States Congress."
And Ohio Governor John Kasich impressed with a declaration that he would love his daughters regardless of sexual orientation.
The other seven Republican hopefuls took to the stage earlier in a debate before the main event.
The forum was dismissively called the "kids' stage" by some analysts.
Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard chief who compares herself to Britain's Margaret Thatcher, was hailed as the winner with a funny and assured performance.
The next Republican debate is on 16 September.