Donald Trump emerged from the third Republican debate Wednesday with less memorable soundbites than debates past.

The billionaire presidential hopeful wrangled with nearly every candidate on stage and the moderators in the two previous debates hosted by Fox News and CNN. But this time around, Trump kept his cool.

Many predicted Trump would hurl punches at his closest competitor, Ben Carson, in order to discredit the retired neurosurgeon and recover his lost lead in Iowa. Instead, the fragile front-runner criticized the moderators' pointed questions and briefly took shots at Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Trump admitted to CNBC's Joe Kernen shortly after the debate that he may begin to soften his rhetoric and scale back his insults, a strategy that appeared to have already been in play during Wednesday's debate.

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