The race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination is heating up, exploding into a four-candidate battle over experience and who is the most conservative. The heated crossfire erupted on Wednesday just days before the South Carolina primaries.
Donald Trump threatened to sue Ted Cruz in his campaign events and TV interviews over negative TV advertisements. Rubio of Florida also attacked Cruz, claiming that he is lying about his record. Jeb Bush, former Florida governor, questioned Rubio’s experience.
Nikki Haley, Governor of South Carolina, officially endorsed Rubio, which boosted the presidential hopeful’s campaign and dealt a serious blow to Bush, who had been lobbying for her support.
Haley’s endorsement gave Rubio a new ally in his campaign, as he tries to swing voters before Saturday’s primary.
Bush learned of Haley’s endorsement just before a town hall meeting in Summerville, where four attendees questioned his campaign strategy and offered tips on how to boost his impact on the state.
A large portion of the debate took place on TV airwaves, with Trump taking jabs at his rivals, and Cruz and Rubio battling at a CNN town hall in back-to-back appearances. Trump was angered by Cruz’s television ad, which brought to light Trump’s previous position on supporting a woman’s right to have an abortion. According to Trump, he has evolved and is now against abortion. The billionaire-businessman-turned-politician called Cruz a “nasty guy” and further noted that his rival has “not one Republican endorsement from the Senate.”
Attendees at the town hall pressed Cruz on the charges that he cannot run for president because he was born in Canada, and that he has yet to gain support from his colleagues in the U.S. Senate.