Rubio builds momentum as Cruz campaign shows signs of struggle

ELKO, Nev. - Florida Sen. Marco Rubio amassed increasing support in his effort to establish himself as the main challenger to front-runner Donald Trump as Republican presidential candidates crisscrossed Nevada Monday on the final day of campaigning ahead of the Western state's caucuses.

See Full Article

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz lost ground in the battle to become the anti-Trump candidate as his campaign showed signs of struggle. Cruz told reporters Monday that he had asked his campaign spokesman, Rick Tyler, to resign for tweeting a story that falsely alleged Rubio had insulted the Bible.

"We are not a campaign that is going to question the faith of another candidate for president," he said, calling Tyler "a good man" and noting that he deleted the tweet once he discovered it was false.

While five men officially remain in the race for the Republican nomination, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy billed it as a two-man contest between Trump and Rubio. Speaking on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Monday, McCarthy said Trump's victory and Rubio's second-place finish in Saturday's South Carolina primary dealt a blow to Cruz's strategy to win the nomination. The California congressman predicted voters in Florida, Rubio's home state, would determine in mid-March whether Rubio continues or Trump easily rolls on to the nomination.

Polls show Trump with a huge lead in the Nevada caucuses, which would give the billionaire businessman a third-straight victory in the state-by-state contests to select delegates to the party's national nominating convention. Cruz faces a critical test on March 1, or Super Tuesday, when primaries are held in multiple states, including his home state of Texas and other southern states.

In the Democratic race, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, vowed to fight on after a narrow loss to Hillary Clinton in Saturday's Nevada caucuses. Clinton pulled ahead of Sanders in the delegate count late Monday, when she eked out the final delegate from the Nevada caucuses, giving her a total of 52 caucus and primary delegates out of the 2,383 needed to win the nomination at the Democratic national convention. Sanders has 51.

Clinton is expected to add to her delegate tally with a win in Saturday's Democratic primary in South Carolina, where polls show her with strong support among African-Americans who make up more than half of the Democratic electorate. Sanders held a rally Monday in Massachusetts, one of the Super Tuesday primary states where he is running strongest.

Trump heads into Tuesday's Republican caucuses in Nevada with 67 delegates after sweeping all 50 delegates at stake in South Carolina. His closest opponents, Cruz and Rubio, have a total of 11 and 10, respectively. It takes 1,237 delegates to capture the nomination.

Rubio is trying to set himself up as the candidate of the party establishment after former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush quit the race after a disappointing fourth-place finish in South Carolina. Establishment heavyweights have moved to back Rubio, with many saying they see him as the candidate who can unite a disharmonious Republican Party. Since Friday, Rubio has added 12 new Congressional or gubernatorial endorsements, while Trump and Cruz have added none.

Former Sen. Bob Dole told ABC News on Monday that he too had been backing Bush, but he's now supporting Rubio because "he wants to grow the party as opposed to Cruz. I don't know what he wants to grow." Cruz appeals to the party's most conservative wing, but many party leaders fear his uncompromising positions would make him unelectable in the general election.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich showed no signs of quitting the race and picked up the support of one prominent Bush supporter - Tom Ridge, a former Pennsylvania governor and Homeland Security secretary. Kasich is hoping to make an impact later in March when Midwestern states hold their primaries.

Cruz's campaign on Tuesday once again was accused by rivals of using questionable tactics. Cruz apologized to Republican hopeful Ben Carson earlier this month after his campaign promoted a news story suggesting that the retired neurosurgeon was getting out of the race as the Iowa caucuses were under way.

Speaking during a campaign stop in Elko, Nevada, on Monday, Rubio criticized Cruz for the tweet alleging that the Florida senator had insulted the Bible.

"It's every single day something comes out of the Cruz campaign that's deceptive and untrue, and in this case goes after my faith," Rubio told reporters.

Trump lashed out at Cruz over Twitter on Monday, saying that Cruz "has now apologized to Marco Rubio and Ben Carson for fraud and dirty tricks. No wonder he has lost Evangelical support!"

Trump was scheduled to hold two rallies Monday in Nevada - one in Elko and another later in Las Vegas.

-----

Associated Press writers Vivian Salama in Washington, Scott Bauer in Madison, Wisconsin; David Eggert in Michigan, Andrew Demillo in Little Rock, Arkansas; and Alanna Durkin, Michael Blood and Matthew Barakat in Virginia contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Putin critic shot dead in Ukraine

    World News Toronto Sun
    KIEV, Ukraine — A former Russian lawmaker Denis Voronenkov was shot and killed in Kyiv Thursday in what the Ukrainian president described as an “act of state terrorism” by Russia. President Petro Poroshenko said Voronenkov’s killing “clearly shows the handwriting of Russian special services shown repeatedly in various European capitals in the past. Source
  • IRA chief, peacemaker McGuinness to be laid to rest in Derry

    World News CTV News
    DUBLIN - The Northern Ireland city of Londonderry is filling with mourners for the funeral of former IRA commander and Sinn Fein deputy leader Martin McGuinness, who helped lead his militant movement to compromise with British Protestants. Source
  • Video shows Romanian woman plunge into River Thames during London terror attack [Photos] [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    Romanian officials say a woman who plunged into the River Thames when a man plowed into pedestrians with an SUV on London’s Westminster Bridge was a Romanian tourist in London to celebrate her boyfriend’s birthday. Foreign Ministry spokesman Ionut Valcu said Thursday that the woman fell into the Thames. Source
  • Police say man who crashed vehicle into pole died of gunshot wounds

    Canada News CTV News
    VAUGHAN, Ont. -- Police are investigating after a man found behind the wheel of a vehicle that crashed in Vaughan, Ont., died of gunshot wounds. York regional police say emergency crews were called to the intersection of Highway 7 and Interchange Way early Thursday. Source
  • A look at victims of the attack outside London's Parliament

    World News CTV News
    LONDON — Here's what's known about the victims of an attack in London where a man plowed a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, killing two people and injuring scores of others. He then stabbed a policeman to death on the grounds of Britain's Parliament before other officers fatally shot him. Source
  • Eight arrested in major raids after London terror attack [Photos] [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    British police conducted major raids and arrested eight people in connection with the attack outside Parliament that left four dead, including the man who mowed down pedestrians on a bridge and fatally stabbed an officer, a senior police official said Thursday. Source
  • British MP calls Donald Trump Jr. a 'disgrace’ for evoking London mayor's months-old terror comment in tweet [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    Emergency personnel close to the Palace of Westminster, London, Wednesday, March 22, 2017, after London police say officers called to a 'firearms incident' on Westminster Bridge, near Parliament. The leader of Britain's House of Commons says a man has been shot by police at Parliament. Source
  • Trump Jr. called a 'disgrace' for criticizing London mayor

    World News CTV News
    In this Jan. 20, 2017, file photo, Donald Trump, Jr., and Ivanka Trump arrive on Capitol Hill in Washington for the presidential Inauguration of their father, Donald Trump. (Saul Loeb via AP, Pool, File) Source
  • AP Exclusive: U.S. probes banking of ex-Trump campaign chief

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. Treasury Department agents have recently obtained information about offshore financial transactions involving President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, as part of a federal anti-corruption probe into his work in Eastern Europe, The Associated Press has learned. Source
  • Alberta mom's 'Rainbow Baskets' bring comfort to parents of children with Down syndrome

    Canada News CTV News
    An Alberta mother is offering a helping hand to parents of babies born with Down syndrome who may feel overwhelmed by the diagnosis. Krista Rowland-Collins sends baskets of gifts and baby supplies to families who give birth to children born with Down syndrome in the Calgary area. Source