Posts Tagged Donad Trump
Fresh from an endorsement by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump accelerated his political slug fest with opponent Marco Rubio on Saturday just days before the delegate-rich Super Tuesday contests.
With dueling appearances in Arkansas and Georgia, the billionaire businessman and U.S. senator from Florida continued an onslaught of personal insults that began on a debate stage on Thursday and looks likely to continue for months.
“The majority of Republican voters do not want Donald Trump to be our nominee, and … they are going to support whoever is left standing that is fighting against him to ensure that we do not nominate a con artist,” Rubio told reporters in Georgia.
Trump, speaking in front of his private plane in Arkansas, along with Christie, whose endorsement on Friday shocked Republican leaders anxious about his likelihood of winning the nomination, belittled Rubio and accused him of being fresh.
“I watched this lightweight Rubio, total lightweight, little mouth on him, ‘bing, bing, bing’ … and his new attack is he calls me a con artist,” Trump said. “The last thing I am is a con man.”
Their back and forth came while voters went to the polls in South Carolina’s Democratic presidential primary between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, taking place a week after South Carolina’s Republican primary.
A big win would give Clinton added momentum ahead of Tuesday, when roughly a dozen U.S. states make their choices for the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations.
With hundreds of delegates at stake in Tuesday’s contests, the day could be a critical turning point for candidates in both parties.
Nominations in both parties are contingent on winning a majority of the votes by the delegates sent to the party conventions in July.
The Tuesday contests could upend the Republican race further if underperforming candidates drop out. Ted Cruz, the U.S. senator from Texas who won the Iowa nominating contest, must do well in his home state on Tuesday to regain momentum. Texas will send 155 delegates to the Republican National Convention, more than 10 percent of the 1,237 delegate votes needed for the party’s nomination.
Ohio Governor John Kasich, who is behind in the polls, said his state’s contest on March 15 would determine whether he stays in the race.
With the high-profile exception of Christie, many “establishment” Republicans have coalesced around Rubio in the hope of stopping Trump from gaining their party’s mantle in the general election.
Rubio stopped short of calling on his fellow candidates to drop out on Saturday.
“When voters have a clear choice between two people, that’s when Donald Trump starts to lose, so the sooner that happens, the better off we’re going to be as a party,” he said.
Rubio, who has criticized Trump for resisting releasing his tax returns, had not released his own by Saturday afternoon. He said Trump did not want his to be made public because they might reveal him to be less wealthy than believed.
“I think part of it is he’s not as rich as he says he is,” Rubio said.
At a campaign rally in Georgia, Cruz said a Trump victory would doom the party’s chances of winning the White House.
Flamboyant businessman Donald Trump won by nearly 20 percentage points in New Hampshire’s Republican primary on Tuesday night, solidifying his status as the overwhelming favourite for the party nomination. Left-wing Vermont Sen. Trounced Hillary Clinton by about 20 points in a Democratic primary in which he had once trailed her by 40, establishing himself as legitimate contender.
The triumph of the insurgent outsiders was forecast by recent polls but unimaginable just a year ago. It represents a momentous affirmation of American anger at the political establishment and the state of the country.
“As a country we don’t win on trade, we don’t win with the military, we can’t beat ISIS. We don’t win with anything,” Trump said in a victory speech in which he called terrorists “animals” and suggested the real unemployment rate was 42 per cent. “We are going to start winning again, and we’re going to win so much, you are going to be so happy.”
“Together,” Sanders said in his speech, “we have sent a message that will echo from Wall Street to Washington, from Maine to California. And that is that the government of our great country belongs to all of the people, and not just a handful of wealthy campaign contributors and their Super PACs.”
Trump’s loss to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the Iowa caucuses last week raised questions about the devotion of his supporters and the preparedness of his campaign team. New Hampshire provided a resounding answer: he is for real, and he will be hard to beat. He holds big leads in the upcoming primaries in South Carolina and Nevada.
And his opposition is deeply divided. What happened in the race for second place is almost as helpful to Trump as his victory and almost as troubling to the Republican establishment hoping in vain for someone to take him down.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, widely viewed as the most electable Republican, had hoped to use a strong runner-up showing to position himself as the undisputed alternative to the polarizing Trump and Cruz. Instead, he finished a disastrous fifth, not only behind second-place Ohio Gov. John Kasich and likely behind former Florida governor Jeb Bush, two men he wanted to force out of the race, but also behind Cruz, whose religion-infused rhetoric appeared to be a poor fit for New Hampshire.
Sanders now confronts the challenge that could sink his campaign: earning support from people of colour, who favour Clinton by large margins. The states voting in the coming weeks are far more diverse than lily-white New Hampshire and Iowa, where Sanders battled last week to a near-tie.
Whatever happens next, New Hampshire proved that his message is far from the fringes. Sanders, a gruff 74-year-old facing a former secretary of state backed by almost the entire Democratic leadership, won a wide victory railing about the “rigged economy,” promising Canada-style health care, and calling for a “political revolution.”
“I’m just sick of the whole system. The whole thing is broken. The elections are fixed, and the American public is starting to catch on,” said Rick MacMillan, 60, an independent who voted for Sanders in the small town of Hopkinton.
Trump made a few concessions to normal political behaviour in response to his Iowa loss, scrambling to build a get-out-the-vote operation after months of neglect. But he did not change his unorthodox style or an inflammatory race-baiting platform that includes a ban on Muslims entering the country, a giant wall on the Mexican border, and the authorized torture of terrorists.
“This country don’t need another lawyer,” said retired police officer Bob Arsenault, 64, after he voted for Trump in Hopkinton. “He tells you how he feels. I’m a good ol’ Frenchman. I’ll tell you how I feel.”
Kasich, running as a cheery compassionate conservative, proved that there is still a substantial Republican constituency for civility and governing experience. But he will be hard-pressed to repeat his success elsewhere. While he held some 100 town hall meetings in New Hampshire, he invested only barely in other states.
Bush’s Super PAC has spent tens of millions of dollars supporting his candidacy, so third or fourth place is not especially impressive. If he had finished fifth or worse, though, he would have faced pressure to quit. He can now soldier on to South Carolina, whose most prominent legislator, Lindsey Graham, has already endorsed him.
The three candidates who fared worse than Rubio, former neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former HP chief executive Carly Fiorina and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie might all drop out. If this was indeed Christie’s last stand, it was consequential. His Saturday debate attack on Rubio as a speech-memorizing lightweight sent Rubio into a panicked recitation of a memorized speech, a comical gaffe that appeared to cripple him in the final days of the race.
New Hampshire, a state of 1.3 million, has always been a unique political environment, largely moderate but with a rebellious streak. More than 40 per cent of voters identify as independent, and they often decide at the final moment which party’s primary to join. On Tuesday, it was not hard to find voters choosing between Sanders and Trump.
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz beat billionaire Donald Trump in Iowa’s Republican nominating contest on Monday, upending the party’s presidential race and creating a three-way competition with establishment candidate Senator Marco Rubio.
A conservative lawmaker from Texas, Cruz won the first state Republican contest with 28 percent of the vote in Iowa compared to 24 percent for businessman Trump. Rubio, a U.S. senator from Florida, came in third with 23 percent, making a stronger-than-expected finish.
On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont came in deadlocked, both receiving just under 50 percent in a race that was too close to call. Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, declared the result a “virtual tie.”
Cruz’s win and Rubio’s strong showing could dent the momentum for Trump, “Tonight is a victory for courageous conservatives across Iowa and all across this great nation,” Cruz, 45, said during a victory speech lasting more than 30 minutes.
An uncharacteristically humbled Trump, 69, congratulated Cruz and said he still expected to win the Republican nomination. Opinion polls show Trump leading nationally and in New Hampshire, which holds the next nominating contest.
“I’m just honored,” Trump said.
Unusually large crowds poured into schools, churches and other venues for the so-called caucuses, in which voters gather together to select a candidate.
Cruz’s well established get-out-the-vote effort helped overcome the enthusiasm from large crowds that have shown up for Trump’s rallies. Trump skipped the last Republican debate before the caucus because of a dispute with host FOX News. A Trump adviser said his second-place finish was expected.
Iowa has held the first contest in the country since the early 1970s, giving it extra weight in the electoral process that can translate into momentum for winning candidates.
Rubio, 44, may benefit from that momentum as much as Cruz, who was buoyed by evangelical support and thanked God for his win. The Florida lawmaker established himself as the mainstream alternative to the two front-running rivals.
“Rubio has staying power. He weathered $30 million in negative ads and late deciders broke his way due to his upbeat and optimistic close,” said Republican strategist Scott Reed.
The results of the Democratic race put pressure on Clinton to siphon support away from Sanders, who has won over politically left-leaning voters with his promises to take on Wall Street and start fresh with healthcare reform.
Clinton, 68, said she was breathing a “big sigh of relief” after the results. She lost Iowa to then-Senator Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic race and never recovered.
The former first lady congratulated Sanders and did not declare victory in her remarks. Her spokesman Brian Fallon, however, said numbers showed she would emerge with two more delegates from Iowa than Sanders, a victory. Delegates determine the party’s nominee at a convention in July.
“It is rare that we have the opportunity we do now to have a real contest of ideas,” Clinton said with her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and daughter Chelsea joining her on stage.
Sanders, 74, declared himself overwhelmed. The lawmaker, who smiled broadly as he addressed supporters, is leading in New Hampshire, home to next week’s second contest, but trails Clinton in other states such as South Carolina, which holds the third contest.
“Nine months ago, we came to this beautiful state, we had no political organization, we had no money, we had no name recognition, and we were taking on the most powerful political organization in the United States of America,” Sanders said.
Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, who had trouble gaining any traction in the Democratic race, suspended his campaign after coming in third in Iowa with 0.6 percent.
The 2016 election is shaping up to be the year of angry voters as disgruntled Americans worry about issues such as immigration, terrorism, income inequality and healthcare, fueling the campaigns of Trump, Sanders and Cruz.
Republican establishment candidates more traditional than Rubio did not fare well in Iowa. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush took 2.8 percent, Ohio Governor John Kasich took 1.9 percent, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie took 1.8 percent.
Surgeon Ben Carson placed fourth among Republicans with 9 percent while former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said he was suspending his campaign for the party’s nomination. Huckabee won the Iowa caucus in 2008.