Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has taken to Twitter to criticise the three moderators of Thursday night’s debate – in particular Fox News host Megyn Kelly.
He tweeted that Ms Kelly and the other moderators were “not very good or professional”, and retweeted similar viewpoints from other Twitter users.
Ms Kelly had challenged the tycoon about his views on women.
Mr Trump was one of 10 candidates who took part in the first debate.
They had been selected from a crowded field of 17 candidates by Fox News on the basis of recent national polls.
Mr Trump stumbled on his past support for a national healthcare system but his most uncomfortable moment came when Ms Kelly challenged him on his views about women.
“You’ve called women you don’t like fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals,” she said.
He answered by joking that he only said that about actress Rosie O’Donnell and stating that political correctness was one of the country’s biggest problems.
“I don’t have time for total political correctness,” he said.
In the hours after the debate, he took to Twitter to criticise the moderators.
And he also took aim at Republican pollster Frank Luntz, whose focus group in a live broadcast after the debate gave an overwhelming thumbs-down to Mr Trump’s performance.
It was when Mr Trump said, during the debate, that he would not rule out running as an independent that the audience and other candidates became hostile. An enraged Rand Paul said: “He buys and sells politicians of all stripes.”
One of the loudest rounds of applause of the evening was for Florida senator Marco Rubio when he mocked Hillary Clinton, who leads the Democratic field.
“First let me say, I think God has blessed us. He’s blessed the Republican Party with some very good candidates. The Democrats can’t even find one.”
Republican reaction – Anthony Zurcher, BBC News
About 1,000 grassroots activists packed a ballroom in an Atlanta hotel to watch the Republican debate, and they went home thrilled with the performance.
The verdict from the crowd wasn’t difficult to pick up. Moderates like John Kasich and Jeb Bush didn’t do anything to win them over – even eliciting boos on occasion – while conservative darlings like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio garnered positive reviews, even if they had limited opportunities to really shine.
Donald Trump was generally seen as an amusing sideshow. “He’s not a real Republican,” said Tarya O’Neill from Madison, Wisconsin. “I hope people know that now”. Sandy Rabe of Cincinnati, Ohio, said she liked some of the things he said, “but I hope he doesn’t become president”.
Rabe added that she wished Carly Fiorina, the former business executive, had got a chance to show her stuff on the stage. She is roundly considered to have dominated the earlier debate among lower-tier candidates.
There will be considerable pontificating and prognosticating after the debate, but the one thing this campaign has shown so far is that conventional wisdom and educated predictions are more often wrong than right.
On Thursday, the Democratic Party announced it would hold its first debate in Nevada in October, hosted by CNN.
By next summer, each party will have a presidential nominee who will do battle in the race for the White House. Votes will finally be cast in November 2016.
The Republican field is one of the largest in recent years.