Seven Republicans shared a debate stage derided as "the kiddie table" Thursday night, relegated to a pre-primetime show due to middling poll numbers.
But one candidate—former HP head Carly Fiorina—emerged from the relatively low-key contest with significant buzz after taking on not only Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton by name, but even her own party.
Fiorina, who polled at just an average of 1.3 percent in FOX's tally of five recent national surveys, was praised by observers on her fluid delivery of lines on Iran, illegal immigration and Washington gridlock.
"We need a nominee who is going to throw every punch, not pull punches, and someone who cannot stumble before he even gets in the ring," she said. "I am not a member of the political class. I am a conservative."
"I didn't get a phone call from Bill Clinton before I jumped in the race," she said. "Any of you get a phone call from Bill Clinton? I didn't. Maybe it's because I haven't given money to the Foundation or donated to his wife's Senate campaign." (Fiorina, however, did participate at a Clinton Foundation event with Bill Clinton in 2014.)
The performance won her accolades from influential conservatives on Twitter and on cable.