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 news conference LIVE

    Canada News CBC News
    Hurricane Maria blasts through Puerto Rico Widespread damage to structures, vegetation Source
  • Trudeau tells UN of Canada's shame over Indigenous Peoples

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used a speech to the United Nations on Thursday to probe a source of national shame: the historic struggles of Canada’s Indigenous peoples. He spoke of forced migration and forced family separation in residential schools, which he said left a devastating legacy on reserves to this day. Source
  • Trump vows more sanctions over North Korea's nuclear buildup

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday aiming to tighten an economic noose around North Korea, days after he threatened to "totally destroy" the country if forced to defend the United States or its allies. Source
  • 'Not the ending that we wanted': Family relieved body of missing man in Quebec Amber Alert case found

    Canada News CBC News
    Friends and family of Yvon Lacasse, the 71-year-old man who went missing last week while an Amber Alert was in place for a six-year-old Quebec boy, are taking solace after his body was located Wednesday. "It feels very sad . Source
  • Police searching for man who allegedly caused crash while impersonating officer

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO - Police in Toronto are looking for a man who allegedly caused a collision while impersonating an officer. They say witnesses reported that a man dressed in a police officer's uniform was directing traffic while dancing in a west-end intersection last Saturday. Source
  • Montreal-born James Campbell Clouston recognized for efforts at Dunkirk

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL - The Montreal-born Second World War hero whose efforts at Dunkirk in 1940 saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of soldiers is being recognized today in his hometown. Cmdr. James Campbell Clouston's exploits were portrayed in Christopher Nolan's blockbuster movie, "Dunkirk," released earlier this year. Source
  • Canada is 'work in progress,' Justin Trudeau tells UN General Assembly

    Canada News CBC News
    Describing Canada as a "work in progress," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the UN Thursday about the country's failures and mistakes in its historical relationship with Indigenous people and his hope to right the wrongs of the past. Source
  • Google is linking secret, court-protected names - including victim IDs - to online coverage [Video]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Google’s powerful search engine is defeating some court-ordered publication bans in Canada and undermining efforts to protect young offenders and victims. Computer experts believe it’s an unintended, “mind-boggling” consequence of Google search algorithms. In six high-profile cases documented by the Citizen, searching the name of a young offender or victim online pointed to media coverage of their court cases, even though their names do not appear anywhere in the news articles themselves. Source
  • 'Clint Eastwood' fires warning shot, gets stolen beer back

    World News Toronto Sun
    COCOA, Fla. — Police say a Florida gas station owner chased a man and fired a warning shot, forcing him to return some stolen beer. Orlando television station WESH reports it was the fourth time store owner Sowann Suy used his gun in defence of his store in the Atlantic coast community of Cocoa. Source
  • Arkansas high school teacher accused of having sex with four students – including two in the same day

    World News Toronto Sun
    A married high school teacher has been arrested for allegedly having sex with four of her students. Jessie Lorene Goline , 25, is accused of sleeping with two of the boys in the same day. The former teacher worked at Mark Tree High School in Arkansas. Source