Trump, Cruz face tightened competition at Saturday debate

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Republican presidential candidates turn their sights on the South in Saturday night's debate, with Marco Rubio looking to right his campaign after a costly stumble that gave new hope to some of his rivals.

See Full Article

Just six contenders will take the stage in Greenville, South Carolina, far from the long line of candidates who participated in earlier GOP debates. But even with a streamlined field, the Republican race remains deeply uncertain.

Jeb Bush and John Kasich are vying with Rubio for the support of more traditional Republican voters. But all three are chasing Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

Having split the first two voting states, Trump and Cruz are hoping to add to their win total in South Carolina's Feb. 20 primary.

The relationship between the billionaire and the Texas senator has become increasingly acrimonious in recent days. Cruz released a television advertisement before the debate accusing the real estate mogul of a "pattern of sleaze," spurring Trump to fire back on Twitter with another round of questions about his Canadian-born rival's eligibility to be president.

If Cruz "doesn't clean up his act, stop cheating, & doing negative ads, I have standing to sue him for not being a natural born citizen," Trump wrote.

While Trump will be standing at center stage, signifying his lead in national preference polls, Rubio will be the center of attention.

Florida's junior senator entered the last debate facing criticism from rivals who said that while he delivers a good speech and sharp answers in debates, he lacked depth. He played into that characterization when he repeated the same practiced line multiple times under pressure from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, contributing to his fifth place finish in the New Hampshire primary.

While Rubio has sought to shed some of his reliance on well-rehearsed talking points in recent days, the debate will be a prime test of whether he can rebound.

Rubio's poor performance has created a potential opening for Bush, the former Florida governor, and Kasich, the current governor of Ohio. Bush in particular will need a solid showing in South Carolina, given his prominent political family's ties to the state, while Kasich is just hoping to remain viable until the race heads to friendly territory for the Midwestern governor.

Katon Dawson, former chairman of the South Carolina GOP, said he expects the debate to have more of an impact on his state's voters than the results in either Iowa or New Hampshire.

"In the last couple of races, we have seen our voters hold their final pick until a couple of days before," Dawson said. "After the church bells ring on Sunday, people are going to start paying a lot of attention."

Also on stage Saturday will be Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon who has struggled to stay relevant in the debates as his standing in the race sharply slipped. Carson pledged that he wouldn't allow himself to be ignored.

"I'm going to be much more boisterous," he said on Fox TV.

Poor showings in Iowa and New Hampshire led some frequent debate participants, including Christie and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, to end their campaigns. Nearly all lower polling candidates who have populated undercard debates have also all ended their White House bids.

Pace reported from Washington.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Wildfire rages close to Yosemite National Park

    World News CBC News
    A blaze burning in foothills west of Yosemite National Park destroyed dozens of structures and forced thousands to flee Gold Rush-era towns but fire crews have been able to stop it from reaching a threatened community on the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Source
  • He's back: Ryan Seacrest to host new American Idol

    World News CBC News
    ABC's American Idol revival is bringing back one of the original stars: Ryan Seacrest. Seacrest confirmed the long rumoured news on his morning show Live with Kelly and Ryan on Thursday after teasing the announcement via social media. Source
  • Police seek to ID man accused of sexually assaulting boy at subway station

    Canada News CTV News
    Toronto police are asking for help in identifying a man they say sexually assaulted a seven-year-old boy at a west-end subway station. Police say a woman reported that her son was sexually assaulted from behind while they were on the escalator at Ossington station Wednesday evening. Source
  • Cop suspended, defence lawyers say video shows drugs planted

    World News CTV News
    BALTIMORE -- A Baltimore officer's police powers have been suspended after defence attorneys released a body camera video that they said shows an officer planting drugs. Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said at a news conference Wednesday that two other officers were put on non-public-contact administrative duty. Source
  • For 1st time, over half of people with HIV taking AIDS drugs

    World News CBC News
    For the first time in the global AIDS epidemic that has spanned four decades and killed 35 million people, more than half of all those infected with HIV are on drugs to treat the virus, the United Nations said in a report released Thursday. Source
  • Western Michigan woman convicted of murder in parrot case

    World News CTV News
    WHITE CLOUD, Mich. - A jury has convicted a western Michigan woman of first-degree murder in the shooting death of her husband in a crime apparently witnessed by the man's pet parrot. The Newaygo County jury deliberated about eight hours before finding 49-year-old Glenna Duram guilty Wednesday of killing 46-year-old Martin Duram. Source
  • Police trying to piece together last hours of 13-year-old B.C. girl found dead in park

    Canada News CTV News
    Investigators are trying to piece together the final hours of Marissa Shen, a 13-year-old girl whose body was found in a park in Burnaby, B.C. Burnaby RCMP are treating the case as a homicide, although they’re still waiting for autopsy results to determine a cause of death. Source
  • Julie Payette's vetting for governor general questioned amid 'disquieting' revelations

    Canada News CBC News
    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is refusing to say what he knew — and when he knew it — about a dismissed, non-felony charge against his choice for Governor General. Julie Payette is calling the six-year-old incident a case of an "unfounded" allegation for which she was "immediately cleared" without any prosecution. Source
  • U.S. hotel, NFL arena may have same flammable panels as Grenfell Towers

    World News Toronto Sun
    In promotional brochures, a U.S. company boasted of the “stunning visual effect” its shimmering aluminum panels created in an NFL stadium, an Alaskan high school and a luxury hotel along Baltimore’s Inner Harbor that “soars 33 stories into the air. Source
  • 10-year-old trips over a 1.2 million-year-old Tusk fossil

    World News Toronto Sun
    LAS CRUCES, N.M. — A boy’s misstep on a family hike in New Mexico has given the world a prehistoric wonder. Ten-year-old Jude Sparks was on a desert hike in Las Cruces in November when he tripped over what turned out to be the fossilized tusk of a 1.2 million-year-old elephant-like creature, called a stegomastodon. Source