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

  • Conservative leader's free speech pledge wouldn't apply in U of T nationalist rally case

    Canada News CBC News
    A pledge by Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer to yank federal funding from universities that fail to uphold free speech wouldn't apply to a decision by the University of Toronto to ban a nationalist rally from campus, his spokesman said Wednesday. Source
  • Fugitive heir's trail exposes Red Bull co-owners' offshore deals

    World News CTV News
    The Bangkok billionaire family that co-founded Red Bull, the world's leading energy drink, uses offshore companies to cloak purchases of jets and luxury properties, including the posh London home where the clan's fugitive son was last seen. Source
  • Hong Kong democracy activist braces for possible prison sentence

    World News CTV News
    HONG KONG - Young Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong and two other student leaders of huge pro-democracy protests in 2014 braced for a court decision Thursday that could send them to prison. The three-judge panel is due to issue its ruling on a prosecution request for stiffer sentences following a lower court decision that let them avoid prison. Source
  • 'Our great love story': Couple talks arranged marriage

    World News CTV News
    ST. PAUL, Minn. -- David and Elizabeth Weinlick’s life together began like a reality TV show, blossomed into two decades out of a romance novel, and now seems destined to end in tragedy. David Weinlick and Elizabeth Runze were strangers when they said "I do" in front of thousands of shoppers and in the national spotlight at Minnesota’s Mall of America in June 1998. Source
  • Raspberry mousse cakes sold in multiple provinces recalled by CFIA for norovirus

    Canada News CBC News
    The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is recalling a number of raspberry mousse cakes after it was discovered the desserts contained norovirus. The agency issued an expanded recallon Wednesday, specifying the products have been distributed in B.C. Source
  • South Korea looks to jumpstart diplomacy in North Korea standoff

    World News CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - In an effort to jumpstart diplomacy, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Thursday he would consider sending a special envoy to North Korea for talks if the North stops its missile and nuclear tests. Source
  • Driver of Texas trailer indicted for 10 passengers’ deaths

    World News Toronto Sun
    SAN ANTONIO — The driver of a tractor-trailer packed with people illegally entering the United States in an alleged human smuggling operation was indicted Wednesday on charges related to the deaths of 10 people inside. James Matthew Bradley Jr. Source
  • 'They tried to kill my child to shut her up'; Woman hit, killed by car at Virginia rally mourned [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Mourners will gather in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Wednesday to honour the woman who was killed when a car rammed into a crowd of people protesting a white nationalist rally that descended into violence last weekend. Source
  • 3 kids killed in crash northeast of Calgary, 3 others injured

    Canada News CBC News
    Three children are dead and three others are injured after a semi truck and a van collided near Highway 36 and Highway 570 in Calgary on Wednesday around 5:45 p.m. One infant, one male teenager and one female teenager were killed on scene, said Calgary EMS. Source
  • Suspected car thief perched on L.A. harbour crane

    World News Toronto Sun
    LOS ANGELES — A man who led authorities on a chase in a stolen car is perched on the arm of a loading crane at the Port of Los Angeles. Police say an SUV reported stolen from a dealership in San Bernardino was spotted in Los Angeles shortly after 3 p.m. Source