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

  • Justin Trudeau to discuss health care with premiers

    Canada News CBC News
    CBC News has learned the premiers and territorial leaders will be invited to talk health care at a working dinner hosted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Friday night in Ottawa. The dinner will follow an all-day meeting between the premiers, the prime minister and Indigenous leaders, where the focus will be on finalizing a plan to combat climate change. Source
  • House where Fritzl kept daughter as sex slave sold

    World News Toronto Sun
    VIENNA — The liquidator of Josef Fritzl’s estate says the house where the Austrian kept his daughter captive for 24 years and fathered seven of her children has been sold. Walter Anzboeck says the house in Amstetten, west of Vienna, was sold for 160,000 euros (about $173,0000). Source
  • Mistrial declared in death of black man shot in the back by police officer

    World News CTV News
    CHARLESTON, S.C. -- A South Carolina judge has declared a mistrial after a jury deadlocked in the murder trial of a white police officer charged in the shooting death of an unarmed black motorist. Circuit Judge Clifton Newman declared a mistrial in the case after a jury said it could not reach a verdict after deliberating more than 22 hours over four days. Source
  • Sheriff's deputy dies when personal car goes into San Antonio sinkhole

    World News CTV News
    SAN ANTONIO -- Officials say an off-duty sheriff's deputy has died and two other people hurt when two vehicles plunged into a water-filled sinkhole in San Antonio, Texas. The Bexar (bayr) County Sheriff's Office on Monday identified the victim as 69-year-old Deputy Dora Linda Nishihara, who was a courthouse bailiff. Source
  • Man convicted in son’s hot-car death gets life, no parole

    World News Toronto Sun
    MARIETTA, Ga. — A judge on Monday sentenced a Georgia man to serve life in prison without the possibility of parole after a jury found that he intentionally left his toddler son in a hot SUV to die. Source
  • One dead after vehicles plunge into Texas sinkhole

    World News Toronto Sun
    THE ASSOCIATED PRESS First posted: Monday, December 05, 2016 08:34 AM EST | Updated: Monday, December 05, 2016 08:38 AM EST Source
  • Sinister seniors latest ISIS executioners

    World News Toronto Sun
    Death cult ISIS is engaging in multi-generational massacres, a new video from the terrorists suggests. ISIS videos have featured fatties, kids, women, midgets and more revved up with jihadi bloodlust. Now, ISIS’s latest propaganda video is making terror’s big tent bigger with scenes of frenzied pensioners executing prisoners. Source
  • The race-baiting identity politics of Justin Trudeau

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Seeking the “safe space” that seem so vogue these days, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went to the safest city in the country for Liberals, and to the two safest spaces he could ever wish for. He sat down the other day with the Toronto Star’s editorial board, and with the CBC’s top-rated Toronto radio show, Metro Morning. Source
  • Teacher had sex with teen -- in fiance's apartment: Cops

    World News Toronto Sun
    A teacher took the old cat’s away, mice will play maxim a bit too far, cops say. Alaina Ferguson, 23, is accused of sexually assaulting a male student and sending him raunchy selfies. Not only that, investigators say the teacher engaged in the trysts at her fiance’s apartment while he was away. Source
  • Landlord in Oakland warehouse fire slammed for Facebook post [Photos] [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    The hipster landlord who ruled over a run-down Oakland warehouse that exploded in flames, killing at least 33 people, was an “arrogant” party animal who laughed off friends’ safety concerns. Derick Ion Almena, who ran the Oakland Ghost Ship, took to Facebook to make a series of whiny comments that ignored the immensity of the horrific tragedy. Source