Super Tuesday: Clinton and Trump Win Big, Rubio Suffers Setback

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Republican Marco Rubio; Republican Ted Cruz; Democrat Bernie Sanders; Republican Donald Trump; and Democrat Hillary Clinton. February 04, 2016.
Republican Marco Rubio; Republican Ted Cruz; Democrat Bernie Sanders; Republican Donald Trump; and Democrat Hillary Clinton. February 04, 2016. Credit: AFP
Updates

Cruz projected to win Alaska with small margin over Trump

Ted Cruz is projected by the Associated Press to win the Republican caucus in Alaska over contender Donald Trump. With over 98 percent of precincts reporting, Cruz garnered 36.3 percent to Trump's 33.5 percent. Candidate Marco Rubio trailed in third with 15.1 percent.

Senator Ted Cruz departs after casting his vote in the Texas Republican primary on Super Tuesday at the West Gray Community Center in Houston, Texas March 1, 2016.Credit: Reuters

Trump projected as primary victor in Vermont

DPA - Billionaire businessman Donald Trump has won the Republican primary in the north-eastern U.S. state of Vermont, broadcasters project.

Trump had been locked in a tight contest in the left-leaning state with Ohio Governor John Kasich, who is seen as a moderate Republican and is among the candidates trying to halt Trump's momentum and emerge as the party establishment's pick.

Kasich took 30.7 per cent of the vote to Trump's 32.5 per cent.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a caucus party in Las Vegas, Nevada, February 23, 2016.Credit: AFP

Clinton wins at least 421 of the 865 delegates at stake, Sanders at least 232

It was a hard-fought win for Hillary Clinton in Massachusetts, helping her solidify her overall delegate lead so far over Bernie Sanders.

With 91 delegates at stake, the two candidates are on track to split spoils in that state fairly evenly. Clinton will pick up at least 44; Sanders will gain at least 41.

For the evening, Clinton has now won at least 421 of the 865 delegates at stake, and Sanders at least 232.

Including superdelegates, Clinton now has at least 969 delegates. Sanders has at least 319. It takes 2,382 delegates to win.

Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally during a campaign event on Super Tuesday in Miami on March 1, 2016.Credit: AFP

Sanders projected to win Minnesota's Democratic caucus

Bernie Sanders won the Minnesota Democratic caucus, claiming his fourth victory in the string of contests known as Super Tuesday.

Sanders also won Colorado, Oklahoma and his home state of Vermont.

His rival, Hillary Clinton, captured Virginia, Georgia, Arkansas, Alabama, Texas and Tennessee.

A few states have yet to be called.

Sanders had also claimed a victory in the New Hampshire primary last month but trails Clinton in the delegate chase.

Rubio projected to win Minnesota's Republican caucus

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has won the Republican presidential caucuses in Minnesota, earning his first victory in the 2016 race for the White House.

Rubio won second place in Nevada and South Carolina but still trails rivals Donald Trump and fellow Sen. Ted Cruz in the much-needed delegates needed to win his party's nomination.

But Rubio has won overwhelming support from members of Congress and governors who see him as the most viable alternative to the billionaire businessman, who holds a commanding lead in delegates a month into the contest.

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Marco Rubio holds up a supporter's sign at a campaign rally on the eve of Super Tuesday in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma February 29, 2016. Credit: Reuters

Lindsey Graham: GOP may have to rally behind Cruz to stop Trump

Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham says the only way to stop Donald Trump from becoming the GOP nominee and winning the general election may be to rally behind Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

"Ted Cruz is not by favorite by any means," Graham, a former candidate, told CBS News on Super Tuesday, when a dozen states held contests to choose party nominees. "But we may be in a position where rallying around Ted Cruz is the only way to stop Donald Trump and I'm not so sure that would work."

Graham called both Trump and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton "crazy" and said the Republican party is bound to lose to Clinton if an alternative to Trump is not found.

He joked that his comments should be taken with a grain of salt since his own presidential campaign did not get off the ground.

U.S. Sen. Graham talks to the press during in Jerusalem, May 27, 2015.Credit: AFP

Cruz highlights Israel, Iran nuclear deal as key differences with Trump

Ted Cruz is drawing sharp contrasts between himself and Republican front-runner Donald Trump.

He said he and Trump differ on Israel, the Iranian nuclear deal and the possibility of compromising over a choice for the Supreme Court.

He also asked if parents would be willing to vote for a candidate whose words "you wouldn't want your children to repeat."

Cruz captured two states during the string of contests known as Super Tuesday: Oklahoma and his home state of Texas. Trump won six.

Neither John Kasich nor Mario Rubio has won a state and Cruz strongly suggested they should drop out so the anti-Trump factions could coalesce around him.

Ted Cruz on Super Tuesday in Stafford, Texas, March 1, 2016.Credit: AP

Ben Carson tells Baltimore crowd he will continue White House bid

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson told a crowded banquet hall at a hotel in downtown Baltimore that he's not giving up, despite trailing behind all the other Republican candidates on Super Tuesday.

Carson took the stage Tuesday at the Grand Hotel in Baltimore and called the political system "rotten to the core."

"They have weaved such a complex web," Carson said.

Carson did not mention any of his opponents by name, but told his supporters, "our nation is in horrible trouble. Why sit there and talk about each other and tear each other down when we have such important issues to deal with?"

Ben Carson speaks during an election night party in Baltimore, Tuesday, March 1, 2016.Credit: AP

Ted Cruz calls on several Republican rivals to drop out

Ted Cruz, who won Oklahoma and his home state of Texas, is calling for some of his Republican rivals to drop out.

Though he did not mention Marco Rubio or John Kasich by name, he made it clear that he felt they should drop out so Republicans could consolidate around him as a viable alternative to Trump.

He asked them "prayerfully consider" the future of their campaigns.

He declared that as long as the Republican field remained divided, Donald Trump would have a path to nomination, which he declared "a total disaster" for his party.

He noted repeatedly that he is only other candidate to win a state: he also captured Iowa last month.

Trump has won Georgia, Virginia, Alabama, Massachusetts, Tennessee and Arkansas on Super Tuesday.

Trump insists that he has 'expanded the Republican party'

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump is insisting that he has "expanded the Republican party," claiming that he is responsible for higher voter turnout in the primary states.

Despite heightened efforts by the GOP establishment to stop him, Trump says he is "a unifier" who soon wanted to put internal Republican squabbles behind him to focus on Hillary Clinton.

He criticized Clinton's track record said she "isn't going to straight it out" over the next four years if elected president.

But he also did could not resist taking swipes at Marco Rubio, who he dubbed "the little senator." He mocked Rubio for not having won a single state.

He is paying tribute to Ted Cruz who captured Texas and Oklahoma.

Trump was victorious in Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Massachusetts, and Tennessee.

Donald Trump and Chris Christie at Mar-a-Lago, March 1, 2016.Credit: AP

Trump mocks Rubio, Clinton while celebrating victories at Mar-a-Lago

Donald Trump is marking his several victories on Super Tuesday and is looking forward to a general election fight against Hillary Clinton.

Trump, speaking at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, was introduced by former rival New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who endorsed him last week.

Trump won Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Massachusetts, and Tennessee. Ted Cruz has captured Texas and Oklahoma.

Trump, who has a commanding lead in delegates, mocked Marco Rubio for "having a tough night" because he did not win any states.

And he said that Clinton's call earlier in the night to "make America whole again" — itself a rebuttal to Trump's "Make America Great Again" rallying cry — was an inferior slogan.

Sanders not making up ground in delegate count despite Oklahoma win

Bernie Sanders isn't making up much ground in delegates after his win in Oklahoma.

With 38 delegates at stake, Sanders will gain at least 20 delegates in that state. Clinton will get at least 11.

In all, Clinton has won six states including Texas as well as the American Samoa, overtaking Sanders' victories in smaller states such as Vermont and Oklahoma.

Clinton is now assured of winning at least 334 of the 865 delegates at stake on Super Tuesday. That's compared to Sanders, who at least 145.

Including superdelegates, Clinton now has at least 882 delegates. Sanders has at least 232. It takes 2,383 delegates to win.

Bernie Sanders and family on Super Tuesday in Essex Junction, Vermont, March 1, 2016.Credit: AP

Trump wins at least 139 delegates; Cruz wins at least 52

Donald Trump has won at least 139 Super Tuesday delegates, while Ted Cruz has won at least 52.

There are 595 Republican delegates at stake in 11 states.

Marco Rubio has won at least 25 delegates and John Kasich has won at least 13. So far, Ben Carson has picked up two delegates in Virginia.

Overall, Trump leads with 221 delegates. Cruz has 69, Rubio has 41, Kasich has 19 and Carson has seven.

It takes 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination for president.

Donald Trump to hold press conference at Mar-a-Lago estate

As other candidates hold tradition election night watch and victory parties, Donald Trump is once again breaking the mold.

The billionaire businessman will be holding a press conference late Tuesday to thank supporters in what has thus far been a strong night for the GOP front-runner in the Super Tuesday contests.

Reporters have been gathered for hours in a Versailles-worthy room at his sprawling Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, adorned with gold-leaf detailing, columns, and three enormous crystal chandeliers.

They're also serving cookies.

Donald Trump at the Mar-A-Lago Club on March 1, 2016 in Palm Beach, Florida. Credit: AFP

Clinton gains at least 120 of 222 delegates at stake

Hillary Clinton's victory in Texas is paying off big in delegates.

With 222 delegates at stake, she is assured of winning at least 120 in that state alone. Bernie Sanders will receive at least 42.

That means a wider lead for her over Sanders in the overall AP delegate count.

Clinton's win in six states and American Samoa so far assure her of at least 318 of the 865 delegates at stake on Super Tuesday. Sanders, who had a victory in Vermont, has at least 124. The Democratic contests award delegates based on the proportion to the vote, so even the loser receives some.

Including superdelegates, Clinton has at least 866 delegates to date. Sanders has at least 211. It takes 2,383 delegates to win.

Sanders projected to win Oklahoma Democratic primary

Bernie Sanders has won the Democratic presidential primary in Oklahoma. He also captured his home state of Vermont.

Sanders also won New Hampshire earlier this campaign.

His opponent, Hillary Clinton, racked up several victories during the string of contests known as Super Tuesday. She also won Georgia, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas.

Rubio slams 'con artist' Trump while speaking at Miami rally

Marco Rubio, speaking at a Super Tuesday rally at his hometown in Miami, is criticizing the night's big winner among Republicans: Donald Trump.

Rubio said that over the last five days he has begun "to unmask the true nature" of Trump, whom he called a "con artist."

He said his recent attacks on Trump have given his campaign momentum and said that Trump did not represent the legacy of the "party of Reagan."

Trump has won several states on Tuesday: Georgia, Alabama, Massachusetts and Tennessee. Ted Cruz has captured Oklahoma and his home state of Texas.

Rubio has yet to win a state, but his upbeat speech was full of promises to continue fighting and vowing to win his home state of Florida later this month.

Ted Cruz projected to win Oklahoma GOP primary

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has won another Republican primary — this time in Oklahoma.

Cruz topped his rivals in Oklahoma, having just won in his home state of Texas.

Republican front-runner Donald Trump has already won the Republican races in Georgia, Virginia, Alabama, Massachusetts and Tennessee.

Ted Cruz in Reno, Nevada, Feb. 23, 2016.Credit: Reuters

Hillary Clinton marks big Super Tuesday wins with Miami rally

Hillary Clinton, triumphant in several states on during a string of primaries known as Super Tuesday, turned her attention during her victory rally toward her possible Republican opponents.

Clinton decried the GOP for "turning its back" on America's working and middle class citizens. She criticized what she called the angry, divisive rhetoric from the Republican front-runner, Donald Trump, though she did not name him.

Clinton has opened up a commanding lead in delegates thanks in part to her wins Tuesday in Georgia, Virginia, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee and Texas.

She also congratulated Bernie Sanders for competing hard in several states. He captured Vermont.

Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally during a campaign event on Super Tuesday in Miami on March 1, 2016.Credit: AFP

Cruz, Clinton projected to win Texas primaries

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and Democrat Hillary Clinton have won the presidential primaries in Texas.

This is the first win for Cruz during the group of Super Tuesday contests and his second win since the leadoff Iowa caucuses.

Clinton earned her latest win in the string of contests known as Super Tuesday. She has also won the Democratic primaries in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia, putting her ahead of her rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has won the race in his home state of Vermont.

Texas is home to the largest number of delegates up for grabs in both parties on Super Tuesday.

Trump projected to win Virginia's GOP primary

Donald Trump has won the Republican presidential primary in Virginia, adding to his Super Tuesday victories in Massachusetts, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.

He is adding to his wins earlier this campaign in Nevada, South Carolina and New Hampshire.

The win was a blow to Marco Rubio, who competed hard in Virginia.

Rubio has yet to win a primary. Ted Cruz has captured Iowa.

Trump wins 100 Super Tuesday delegates so far

Donald Trump has jumped to a big lead in the Super Tuesday delegates with victories in Georgia, Alabama, Massachusetts and Tennessee.

Trump has won 100 delegates so far. Marco Rubio has won 12 and Ted Cruz has won five.

There are 595 Republican delegates at stake in 11 states.

Overall, Trump leads with 182 delegates. Rubio has 28, Cruz has 22, John Kasich has six and Ben Carson has five.

It takes 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination for president.

Donald Trump after a campaign rally in Columbus, Ohio, March 1, 2016.Credit: Bloomberg

John Kasich thanks supporters in Mississippi

John Kasich is thanking supporters at a Super Tuesday rally in Mississippi.

Kasich, the governor of Ohio, has been trying to build off his surprising second place finish in the New Hampshire primary last month.

He has yet to win any states. His speech Tuesday was full of family remembrances and tributes to his supporters but very little discussion of the night's results.

Donald Trump has captured Georgia, Alabama, Massachusetts, and Tennessee. Some states remained too close to call.

He has resisted calls from some other Republican power brokers to drop out of the race.

Clinton gains at least 175 of 865 available delegates

Hillary Clinton is adding to her delegate lead over Bernie Sanders after victories in Alabama and Tennessee.

She is now assured of winning at least 175 delegates for the evening. Sanders will receive at least 71.

In all, 865 delegates are at stake in 11 states. Clinton so far has won four of those states, while Sanders prevailed in his home state of Vermont, allowing her to build a delegate lead.

Including superdelegates, Clinton now has a total of at least 723 delegates, according to a count by The Associated Press. Sanders has at least 158. It takes 2,383 delegates to win the nomination.

Hillary Clinton addresses a campaign rally February 29, 2016 at George Mason University.Credit: AFP

Trump, Clinton win Alabama, Tennessee. Trump wins Massachusetts

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton have won the presidential primaries in Alabama.

Trump has also finished on top in the Republican primary in Massachusetts.

Trump and Clinton have also won their party primaries in Tennessee.

Massachusetts' Democratic primary and both Oklahoma primaries are too early to call.

Bernie Sanders thanks supporters at Vermont rally

Bernie Sanders is thanking supporters at a victory rally in his home state of Vermont.

Sanders captured the Democratic primary in Vermont, his first win on Super Tuesday. His opponent, Hillary Clinton, won Georgia and Virginia.

He told the raucous crowd that it meant a lot to him that "the people who know me best" gave him a victory.

He extolled the small-town virtues of Vermont, applauding the state's town halls which he said could not be corrupted by the billionaires trying to influence the political system.

He said his campaign was about confronting the "ugly truths" in the United States today.

This is Sanders' second victory. He captured the neighboring state of New Hampshire last month.

Bernie Sanders and family on Super Tuesday in Essex Junction, Vermont, March 1, 2016.Credit: AP

Clinton gains at least 108 of 213 delegates in first Super Tuesday primaries

Hillary Clinton has sprinted to an early delegate lead on Super Tuesday.

Her victories in Georgia and Virginia are giving her an early advantage over Bernie Sanders, who won big in his home state of Vermont.

At stake in those three states are 213 delegates.

She is assured of at least 108, while Sanders will receive at least 57. Forty-eight remain to be allocated in those three states.

In all, 865 delegates are up for grabs in 11 states and American Samoa on Super Tuesday.

Going into Super Tuesday, Clinton held a 26-delegate advantage based on wins from primaries and caucuses.

Hillary Clinton addresses a campaign rally February 29, 2016 at George Mason University.Credit: AFP

Voters in Virginia, Georgia want experience, exit poll shows

The top quality voters in both Virginia and Georgia are looking for in a candidate is experience, according to early results of the exit poll conducted by Edison Research for the Associated Press and Television Networks.

Clinton won both states. She drew support from a large majority of those who cared most about a candidate who can win in November.

Among those who said they cared most about a candidate being honest and trustworthy, most in both states supported Sanders. A majority of those who said their top quality in a candidate was caring about people like them supported Sanders in Virginia, but that group was slightly more likely to support Clinton in Georgia.

Six in 10 Virginia Democratic primary voters said Clinton is honest and trustworthy, and three-quarters said the same of Sanders.

Hillary Clinton and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe at George Mason University, Feb. 29, 2016.Credit: AP

Clinton takes Virginia, Georgia primaries; Trump projected to win Georgia

Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic presidential primaries in Virginia and Georgia, while Bernie Sanders wins in his home state of Vermont.

According to early results of the exit poll conducted by Edison Research for the Associated Press and Television Networks, Clinton led in both Virginia and Georgia among both men and women. Sanders led among voters under 30 and Clinton held a commanding lead among those 45 and over.

In Vermont, Bernie Sanders was supported by overwhelming majorities of both men and women, and huge majorities of voters across all age groups.

Half of Vermont Democrats said they want the next president's policies to be more liberal than those of President Barack Obama.

Donald Trump is projected to take the Republican primary in Georgia, while Vermont and Virginia remain too close to call.

Mario Vargas Llosa: Trump is a 'danger for the United States'

Mario Vargas Llosa, winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize for Literature, said Tuesday that U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump was a "danger for the United States."

At a presentation for his new book, Cinco Esquinas, in Madrid, the Spanish-Peruvian author spoke out against Trump as a "demagogic clown and racist." Vargas Llosa said it would be unacceptable for a country with as much political weight and importance as the United States to be led by such a person.

Vargas Llosa said if Trump were to win the nomination, he thinks the real estate magnate would not stand a chance against the candidate who appears most likely to be nominated by the Democrats, former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Peruvian writer and Nobel Prize winner in literature Mario Vargas Llosa.Credit: AP

Trump calls Cruz a 'basket case,' Rubio a 'total lightweight'

Donald Trump is keeping up his criticism on his closest Republican rivals in the hours before the first Super Tuesday polls close.

Trump, in Kentucky, said Tuesday that March Rubio was "a total lightweight" while Ted Cruz is "a basket case" and "a liar." However, he held his fire on Ben Carson, calling him a "nice guy" and he didn't provide any descriptions for John Kasich.

He said his dealing powers would force companies to keep jobs in America and coerce countries to release American prisoners.

The Louisville crowd cheered when Trump spotted a sign in the crowd and asked it to be fetched for him. He held up the sign — which read "Hispanics 4 Trump" — and waved it around, mouthing "thank you" toward the audience.

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia February 29, 2016.Credit: Reuters

Clinton gets a reminder of Massachusetts election laws

Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin is reminding Hillary Clinton's campaign about state election laws after former President Bill Clinton greeted voters inside a polling location in Boston.

Clinton arrived at the Holy Name gymnasium, a polling place in the city's West Roxbury neighborhood where he met with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, one of his wife's supporters.

Bill Clinton spoke with voters outside the polling location before heading inside with Walsh. At one point, a woman asked for a photo and Clinton said, "as long as we're not violating any election laws."

According to state law, no one may solicit a person's vote within 150 feet of a polling location.

Galvin also said that Bill Clinton created a traffic jam outside a polling location in New Bedford later in the day when he addressed voters on the street. Galvin said the polling location never shut its doors, however.

Bill Clinton campaigns for Hillary at New Bedford, Massachusetts, March 1, 2016.Credit: AP

Most Democratic voters want continuation of Obama's policies

In eight of nine states where exit polls were conducted Tuesday, Democratic voters were more likely to want a continuation of President Barack Obama's policies than a switch to more liberal policies.

According to early results of the exit polls conducted for the Associated Press and television networks by Edison Research, majorities of Democratic voters in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia want a continuation of Obama's policies, along with more than 4 in 10 voters in Arkansas, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Texas.

In each of those states, about a third of Democratic voters or less want a switch to more liberal policies.

In Vermont, about half of Democratic primary voters said they want the next president to change to more liberal policies.

Hillary Clinton supporters at a campaign event in Fairfax, Virginia, Feb. 29, 2016.Credit: AP

Most Republican primary voters back temporary Muslim ban

Large majorities of Republican primary voters in six states going to the polls on Super Tuesday said they support a proposal to temporarily ban all non-citizen Muslims from entering the United States.

Early results of exit polls conducted by Edison Research for The Associated Press and television networks show two-thirds of GOP primary voters in Texas, Virginia and Georgia, 7 in 10 in Tennessee, and nearly 8 in 10 in Alabama support the proposal championed by GOP front-runner Donald Trump.

But Republican voters were more divided on another major immigration issue, whether to deport immigrants already in the country illegally or allow them to stay.

In just one of the seven states where the question was asked, Alabama, did a majority of Republicans support deportation. In two states, Virginia and Georgia, those who preferred legal status outnumbered those supporting deportation.

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia February 29, 2016.Credit: Reuters

Rubio ceremonially launches campaign for must-win Florida primary

Marco Rubio is ceremonially launching his campaign for the must-win primary in Florida, where Donald Trump sits comfortably ahead.

The Florida senator is telling reporters in Minnesota that he is looking ahead to the March 15 contest in his home state because he will have "a lot of delegates" after Super Tuesday balloting in 11 states holding Republican contests, even if he doesn't win any states. And he's predicting that the competition will become so fierce that it will become clear that Trump "has no chance" of ever winning enough delegates to capture the GOP presidential nomination.

Rubio also is setting high expectations for Ted Cruz's Super Tuesday finish. Cruz is doing well but not likely to win all 155 delegates offered by the contest in his home state of Texas.

Rubio says, "Tonight was supposed to be Ted Cruz's big night."

Trump tells Kentucky voters: Obama 'decimated' coal industry

Donald Trump is trying to woo Kentucky voters at a rally in Louisville by criticizing President Barack Obama as having "decimated" the coal industry. Trump said if he becomes president, coal will "make a very big comeback."

His rally on Tuesday was interrupted several times by protesters. The billionaire businessman shouted at them from the stage, "out, out, out." He told the roaring crowd that the protesters wouldn't be there if the nation weren't so politically correct.

Trump, introduced by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, continued to hurl insults at his competitors. He took aim at Demoncratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and said she doesn't have the strength or stamina to be president.

Trump supporters make their way into a rally in Louisville, Kentucky, March 1, 2016.Credit: AP

Judge tosses claim over Ted Cruz's eligibility for Illinois ballot

A judge has dismissed a claim that Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz isn't eligible for the Illinois ballot because he was born in Canada.

Cook County Circuit Court Judge Maureen Ward Kirby tossed the case on a technicality Tuesday.

Kirby says the suburban Chicago attorney who filed the complaint, Lawrence Joyce, failed to give a copy of it to Cruz or state electoral board members, as required by Illinois law. Instead, Joyce served only lawyers representing Cruz and the board.

Joyce says the Texas senator can't be president because he wasn't born in the U.S. Cruz and some legal experts say he's eligible because his mother was a U.S. citizen when he was born.

Joyce backs Ben Carson but says he acted on his own.

Illinois' primary is March 15.

Ted Cruz campaigns in San Antonio, Texas, Feb. 29, 2016.Credit: Bloomberg

McConnell blasts Trump's 'seeming ambivalence about David Duke and the KKK'

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is blasting Donald Trump's "seeming ambivalence about David Duke and the KKK," joining House Speaker Paul Ryan's earlier call for the GOP presidential candidates to reject racism.

The two highest-ranking leaders of Congress spoke as voters in 11 states holding GOP contests went to the polls for the Super Tuesday contests. They never said Trump's name, but clearly were referring to a weekend interview on CNN in which Trump refused to denounce the former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard or racist groups. Trump had disavowed them and did so again after facing criticism for wobbling. But the leaders of his party on Tuesday suggested that wasn't enough.

Ryan, the nation's highest-ranking Republican government official, earlier Tuesday said anyone who wants to be the Republican presidential nominee must reject any racist group or individual.

McConnell went next, saying, "Senate Republicans condemn David Duke, the KKK, and his racism."

Republicans are defending their congressional majorities in the November elections.

Mitch McConnell talks to reporters on Capitol Hill, March 1, 2016.Credit: AP

Obama, congressional leaders talk Supreme Court nomination

After an Oval Office sit-down on Tuesday did nothing to move Republican Senate leaders off their hard line against a Supreme Court nomination, Democrats pulled out another weapon in the heated election-year fight: Donald Trump.

In a White House meeting that lasted less than an hour, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, told President Barack Obama that any confirmation process during a presidential campaign would politicize the court. They offered up no potential candidates that would win their backing and no route to filling the seat.

"This vacancy will not be filled this year," McConnell told reporters after the meeting.

Democrats accused Republicans of trying to hold the seat open so that a Republican president can fill it. That president could be Trump, they noted, hoping to needle a GOP establishment uncomfortable with the prospects of Trump presidency.

Read full story here

Barack Obama discusses the Supreme Court vacancy with a delegation of bipartisan leaders of the Senate, March 1, 2016.Credit: Reuters

New York court refuses to throw out Trump University fraud lawsuit

A midlevel New York court has refused to throw out a fraud lawsuit against Donald Trump over his former school for real estate investors.

The Appellate Division on Tuesday unanimously rejected Trump's request to dismiss the 2013 suit.

The four justices also denied New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's request for an immediate judgment, saying there are material issues of fact.

Schneiderman alleges Trump University was unlicensed and promised lessons with real estate experts hand-picked by Trump, only one of whom had ever met him.

He says the school used "bait-and-switch" tactics. Its name was changed to the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative before it closed in 2010.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing.

Trump's presidential opponents attacked him over the litigation during Thursday's GOP debate. The ruling comes as Super Tuesday primary voters head to the polls.

Donald Trump after a campaign rally in Columbus, Ohio, March 1, 2016.Credit: Bloomberg

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