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

  • For U.S. Sen. Franken, a rising trajectory, and then the accusations

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON - "Many of you have jobs, many of you have families," Sen. Al Franken told Virginia Democratic leaders gathered on the eve of what seemed an uncomfortably close gubernatorial election. After an expectant pause, he leaned into the microphone and added, "Ignore them. Source
  • N.S. jury shown video of off-duty cop and alleged murderer embracing at Halifax bar

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX - An off-duty police officer was seen kissing and embracing Christopher Garnier at a downtown Halifax bar hours before he allegedly strangled her, a jury heard Wednesday. RCMP Const. Kyle Doane told Garnier's murder trial Wednesday that he reviewed surveillance footage from the Halifax Alehouse after it was discovered Truro police Const. Source
  • Zimbabwe's Mugabe granted immunity as part of resignation deal: sources

    World News CBC News
    Zimbabwe's former president Robert Mugabe was granted immunity from prosecution and assured that his safety would be protected in his home country as part of a deal that led to his resignation, sources close to the negotiations said on Thursday. Source
  • Trudeau says housing is a human right — what does that mean exactly?

    Canada News CBC News
    As part of its ambitious national housing strategy, the Liberal government is vowing to enshrine the right to adequate housing as a fundamental human right in Canadian law, a symbolic move that has practical considerations. For years there has been an international push to do just that, and Canada is already a signatory to the UN-backed International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which recognizes housing as a right. Source
  • Refugee lawyers under 'major pressure' amid backlog of asylum claims

    Canada News CBC News
    Even as politicians in Quebec and Ottawa maintain they are prepared for any influx in asylum seekers, immigration lawyers working on the front lines say they are already struggling to deal with a backlog of refugee claimants. Source
  • Unpaid Zara garment workers say they still haven't seen a cent

    World News CBC News
    It was more than a job to them. "We were a family" is what many of the Turkish textile workers who helped make clothes for international fashion brands told CBC News this week. "We felt safe," Bahar Ugur, 26, said. Source
  • Two men charged with assaulting Dennis Oland in prison face sentencing

    Canada News CTV News
    MIRAMICHI, N.B. - Two Halifax men charged with assaulting Dennis Oland in a New Brunswick prison last July are to be sentenced today in Miramichi. Convicted killer Cody Alexander Muise and Aaron Marriott, who was convicted in a 2008 drug shooting, attacked Oland at Atlantic Institution in Renous, N.B. Source
  • Papua New Guinea officials pressure asylum seekers to leave camp

    World News CTV News
    CANBERRA, Australia - Papua New Guinea authorities on Thursday removed dozens of asylum seekers and ratcheted up pressure on more than 300 others to abandon a decommissioned immigration camp, where refugees reported their shelters, beds and other belongings have been destroyed. Source
  • Pope Francis to visit three Baltic nations next year

    World News CTV News
    COPENHAGEN - Pope Francis is planning a visit to Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia next year, when the three Baltic nations celebrate their 100th anniversaries. Daiva Ulbinaite, a spokeswoman for Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, tells the Baltic News agency the visit is scheduled for autumn of 2018. Source
  • Argentina reports new clues in search for missing submarine

    World News CTV News
    MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina - Ships and planes hunting for a missing Argentine submarine with 44 crew members will return to a previously search area after officials said Wednesday that a noise made a week ago in the South Atlantic could provide a clue to the vessel's location. Source