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

  • UN seeks to reverse 'radical decline' in donations to North Korea

    World News CBC News
    International sanctions on North Korea are taking a serious toll on humanitarian aid activities, according to a United Nations-led report. The report issued this week by the UN's senior resident official in Pyongyang said sanctions are inadvertently hindering legitimate operations on the ground and have indirectly contributed to a "radical decline" in donations it said are badly needed by millions of North Korean women and children. Source
  • McGill rejects 'unfounded rumours' over academic freedom after Andrew Potter's resignation

    Canada News CBC News
    McGill University is addressing what it calls "unfounded rumours and concerns regarding academic freedom" following Andrew Potter's resignation from his post as director of the Institute for the Study of Canada. "I want to assure members of the McGill community that academic freedom is a foundational principle of McGill University," principal Suzanne Fortier said late Thursday in an open letter to the university community. Source
  • Everyone thinks Parliament should be reformed, but no one can agree on how

    Canada News CBC News
    The state and functioning of the House of Commons have been widely and sorrowfully lamented in recent years. But to the list of lamentable things might now be added the latest attempt at parliamentary reform, an effort that seems in danger of being strangled by parliamentary democracy. Source
  • 'Strong suspicion': Dylan Koshman's 2008 disappearance in Edmonton upgraded to homicide investigation

    Canada News CBC News
    An eight-year-old missing person cold case in Edmonton has been upgraded to a homicide investigation, The Fifth Estate has learned. Edmonton Police Services quietly transferred the Dylan Koshman file from their missing person unit to their homicide department several months ago. Source
  • Budget 2017 bids a sombre adieu to the venerable Canada Savings Bond

    Canada News CBC News
    The Canada Savings Bond, a ubiquitous savings vehicle that grew from humble postwar origins into a household name by the 1980s, died this week after a lengthy decline. She was 71 years old. The official cause of death was no longer being "a cost effective source of funds. Source
  • Dennis Oland's lawyers prepare to seek 'complete vindication'

    Canada News CBC News
    Dennis Oland's second-degree murder case could soon be back before the Supreme Court of Canada as his defence lawyers prepare next steps in their bid toward his "complete vindication." Buoyed by the court's decision Thursday that Oland was wrongly denied bail pending his appeal of his murder conviction, his lawyers expect to file more arguments to the country's highest court next week, seeking an acquittal. Source
  • Inexpensive credit for speculators is fuelling irrational housing price increases

    Canada News CBC News
    In the debate about how best to address soaring housing prices in some Canadian cities, the most obvious answer is being ignored. Why? Because it doesn't serve the interests of those with the loudest voices. Real estate agents and developers, who benefit from increased activity, claim the solution is to increase supply by easing zoning regulations and expanding the available stock of housing. Source
  • The officer and the MP: both tried to save lives, only one succeeded

    World News CBC News
    Before any of it happened, the officer and the politician lived oddly parallel lives. They both worked at Westminster. They were just two years apart in age. And at times in life they both carried the titles of father, and soldier. Source
  • The politics of Pluto: 10 years later, the bitter debate rages on

    World News CBC News
    It's a gloves-off, no-holds-barred debate: Is Pluto a planet or not? Lately, the question has elicited some fiery exchanges between the scientists at the forefront of the argument. Both sides claim to have great respect for the other's work, but when you speak with them, they're quick to mock their opponents' views on the subject. Source
  • Funeral to be held for St. Catharine's boy whose death led to murder charge

    Canada News CTV News
    THOROLD, Ont. - Funeral services will be held today for a seven-year-old boy who died last week in St. Catharines, Ont., leading to a murder charge against his stepfather. Nathan Dumas was rushed to hospital on Friday but died the next day. Source