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Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio was attacked by several GOP rivals for the party’s nomination to run for the White House, in a fractious ABC debate.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie described Marco Rubio, a rising force in the polls, as inexperienced and scripted.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, also assailed by Donald Trump and Jeb Bush, fought back by attacking President Barack Obama.

The New Hampshire debate comes four days before the state picks its presidential nominee in each party.

Several of the seven Republicans on stage have staked much on this state, and the pressure seemed to provoke several points of conflict.

One of the testiest moments at the debate in Manchester was when Chris Christie lambasted Marco Rubio.

“You have not been involved in a consequential decision, where you had to be held accountable, you just simply haven’t,” said Chris Christie.Marco Rubio GOP debate New Hampshire

The New Jersey governor accused Marco Rubio of “truancy” by missing Senate votes and said his eloquent speeches were ineffective in improving the lives of a single American.

However, Marco Rubio, who was a strong third in the Iowa vote on February 1, attacked him for not immediately returning to New Jersey from the campaign trail during the recent snowstorm.

The night got off to a bizarre start when Ben Carson missed his entrance to the debate and was left standing in the wings by debate hosts ABC News.

When it eventually got under way, the candidates sharpened their differences on issues like national security, immigration and abortion.

New Hampshire polls suggest Donald Trump, who has no political experience but finished second in the Iowa vote on February 1, is out in front.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who like Donald Trump is running on an anti-establishment platform, was the victor in Iowa.

However, a strong third by Marco Rubio has made him a target from the others.

One of Marco Rubio’s counter-attacks under pressure in the debate, that President Barack Obama is knowingly changing the nature of the US, was strongly rejected by Donald Trump.

“I think he [Barack Obama] has no idea what he’s doing. And our country is going to hell. So, I just want to say, we disagree on that.”

Jeb Bush also put the boot into his former Florida protégé, saying he was gifted but in a way that reminded him of Barack Obama.

After New Hampshire on February 9, the rest of the 50 states will have their turn over the coming weeks and months.

Each party formally announces their presidential candidate at conventions in July, four months before the presidential election.

The first one-to-one Democratic debate saw Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders clashing over Wall Street and foreign policy.

Hillary Clinton cast Bernie Sanders as an idealist who will not get things done and Sanders accused the former Secretary of State of being too tied to the establishment to achieve real change.

The MSNBC debate in New Hampshire was their first since the Democratic race was whittled down to two this week.

Without a third person on stage, the policy differences were laid bare.

Hillary Clinton said Bernie Sanders’ proposals such as universal healthcare were too costly and unachievable.

She went after her rival aggressively over his attempts to portray her as being in the pocket of Wall Street because of the campaign donations and the fees she had received for after-dinner speeches.

Photo Reuters

Photo Reuters

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders used a favorite attack line against Hillary Clinton that she backed the Iraq War, but she questioned his foreign policy expertise.

The debate comes five days before the second state-by-state contest in the battle for the presidential nominee, in New Hampshire on February 9.

Despite the tensions over policies, the debate ended on a warm note, when Hillary Clinton said the first person she would call would be Bernie Sanders, if she won the nomination.

The debate was their first without the presence of the former governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley, who quit the race on February 1.

Martin O’Malley was a distant third in the first state to vote, Iowa, where Hillary Clinton narrowly beat Bernie Sanders after a prolonged count.

Bernie Sanders holds a big lead in polls in New Hampshire, which borders the state where he is a senator, Vermont.

Both Republican and Democratic parties will formally name their presidential candidates at conventions in July.

Americans will finally go to the polls to choose the new occupant of the White House in November.

Donald Trump has called for a new Republican election in Iowa, accusing the winner, Ted Cruz, of fraud.

The billionaire pointed to the fact that during the caucus Ted Cruz’s campaign told voters rival Ben Carson planned to quit the race, which was not true.

The Cruz campaign apologized to Ben Carson, saying it was a misunderstanding.

Donald Trump came second in the first state-by-state contest to pick each party’s presidential nominee.

Next up is New Hampshire, where voters will make their choice in the Republican and Democratic races on February 9.

Donald Trump said: “Ted Cruz didn’t win Iowa, he stole it. That is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got far more votes than anticipated. Bad!”

Earlier, he wrote on Twitter that Ted Cruz “illegally” won the caucus, but later deleted the tweet.Donald Trump accuses Ted Cruz of fraud

Paul Pate, the top election official in Iowa, condemned Ted Cruz campaign leaflets sent out prior to voting that accused Iowans of “voting violations”.

The leaflets graded Iowans and their neighbors for how much they had voted in the past and told them to turn out to improve their scores.

Paul Pate said Ted Cruz’s leaflets “misrepresent Iowa election law” and that they were “not in keeping in the spirit of the Iowa caucuses,” but he stopped short of any official action.

Donald Trump’s reaction contrasts with his concession speech on February 1, which was seen as a humble departure from his usual bombastic style.

He called second place “a long-shot great finish” in an earlier tweet.

Ted Cruz’s camp is not taking the accusations too seriously.

“Reality just hit the reality star – he lost Iowa and now nobody is talking about him, so he’s popping off on Twitter,” Ted Cruz’s communications director Rick Tyler told Politico in an email.

“There are support groups for Twitter addiction, perhaps he should find his local chapter.”

There is no precedent for re-staging a caucus.

Ben Carson accepted Ted Cruz’s apology about the drop-out rumors, but his campaign called the tactics “dirty tricks”.

The remaining candidates are now in New Hampshire, the next state to hold a primary vote, where Donald Trump is leading in the polls.

Also on February 3, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum dropped out of the Republican race after disappointing finishes in Iowa.

Rand Paul has decided to drop out of the White House race after a disappointing fifth place finish in the Iowa caucuses.

The Kentucky senator often clashed with his Republican rivals over their hawkish views on foreign policy and their support of government surveillance.

Rand Paul ended his bid in part to focus on his re-election to the Senate.

He is seen as representing the Libertarian wing of the party, which promotes individual rights and privacy.

“Across the country thousands upon thousands of people flocked to our message of limited government, privacy, criminal justice reform and a reasonable foreign policy,” he said.

“Although, today I will suspend my campaign for president, the fight is far from over.”Rand Paul suspends presidential campaign

Rand Paul, an ophthalmologist, represents Kentucky in the Senate and is the son of former Congressman Ron Paul, who ran for president several times.

He has said in the past he is the right candidate to “stand up to both the right and the left”.

In 2015, a Time magazine cover labeled Rand Paul “the most interesting man in politics”.

There are now 10 Republicans left in the White House race, down from the original 17.

Rand Paul, 52, hoped to gain the attention of young people hoping for change but was ultimately overshadowed by billionaire businessman Donald Trump.

He is known for holding up the Senate floor for nearly 13 hours to delay the nomination of John Brennan as CIA director because of his opposition to the Obama administration’s use of drone strikes against terrorists.

He also was criticized last year when he said vaccines could give children “profound mental disorders”. He later said his children are immunized.

Rand Paul was passionate about criminal justice reform, saying the US needs to “break the cycle of incarceration for non-violent ex-offenders”.

He was praised for level-headed debate performances, but ultimately was hurt by his non-interventionist polices after terrorist attacks in San Bernardino, California and Paris.

Rand Paul had trouble raising money for his campaign, as well, not attracting wealthy donors flocking to candidates like Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz.

With such a large field of candidates, underperforming Republican candidates are under increasing pressure to drop out of the race.

Former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee dropped out on February 2 as votes were being cast in Iowa.

Republican and Democrat presidential hopefuls have arrived in New Hampshire ahead of the next vote.

Iowa caucuses on February 2 were won by Senator Ted Cruz for the Republicans and Hillary Clinton for the Democrats.

Ted Cruz prevailed despite trailing in opinion polls while Hillary Clinton beat Senator Bernie Sanders by just 0.2%.

New Hampshire is seen as a quite different challenge for the parties.

The state’s more moderate and less religious electorate may prove a tougher nut for Ted Cruz to crack in the primaries it is due to hold on February 9.

Long-time frontrunner Donald Trump is expected to do much better than in Iowa, which held the nation’s first vote.

On the Democrat side, Bernie Sanders is seen as having a home advantage in New Hampshire over Hillary Clinton, being a senator of the neighboring state of Vermont.New Hampshire vote 2016

The state-by-state voting will culminate in conventions in July, at which the two parties will confirm their choice of candidate to succeed Barack Obama, the Democratic president who is standing down after two terms in office.

Even before Hillary Clinton’s narrow victory was announced officially, Bernie Sanders was up at 05:00 and aboard a flatbed lorry, being greeted by supporters in the New Hampshire town of Bow.

Telling the crowd that his campaign had “astounded the world” in Iowa, Bernie Sanders promised it would “astound the world again” in New Hampshire.

Hillary Clinton is due to address a crowd at a sports stadium in Nashua.

Final results show Hillary Clinton took 49.8% in Iowa to Bernie Sanders’ 49.6%.

Ted Cruz took 26% of the Republican vote to 23% for Donald Trump, but Senator Marco Rubio finished a surprisingly strong third, just slightly behind.

The Texas senator declared his win a “victory for courageous conservatives”.

Many mainstream Republicans favor Marco Rubio, fearful that Ted Cruz and Donald Trump may alienate voters with their combative style.

This year’s presidential candidates are to make final pitches to people in Iowa, where the first votes for party nominations will take place later.

Polls suggest that Republican Donald Trump has a narrow lead over Texas Senator Ted Cruz but both are well ahead of the others.

In the Democratic field, the race is slightly tighter, with Hillary Clinton edging ahead of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

Each party’s nominee will contest the presidential election in November.

Over the weekend, the candidates barnstormed the sparsely populated Midwestern state of Iowa in an attempt to court undecided voters.

Campaigning is expected to continue until voting starts at 19:00 local time on February 1.Iowa caucus 2016

Candidates are hoping to triumph in this first electoral test because victory can spark campaign momentum as voting moves to the other states.

Among the wide Republican field, recent polling suggests that Donald Trump has a comfortable, though not certain, lead over his main rival, Ted Cruz.

The Democrats’ far smaller field – three candidates as opposed to 11 – appears to be more competitive.

Frontrunner Hillary Clinton has a commanding lead nationally but in Iowa she is narrowly ahead of self-proclaimed Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders.

Iowa has an unusual election system called a caucus, which involves people gathering at sites across the state at 19:00 local time on February 1.

Democratic voters divide themselves into groups based on their preferred candidate but the Republican caucus process is more like a traditional ballot.

The last Republican winner in Iowa who won the party’s nomination was George W. Bush 16 years ago.

One issue that could have implications in Iowa is the weather.

The National Weather Service is currently forecasting a winter storm to strike the area on Monday night.

Candidates are worried that the incoming storm could prevent their voters turning out earlier in the evening.

Donald Trump joked with his supporters on January 30, saying: “You’re from Iowa! Are you afraid of snow?”

Iowan law mandates that it be the first “state, territory, or any other group” to select delegates in the presidential nomination

This first vote in Iowa will be followed in the weeks ahead by more ballots in the 49 other states plus US territories.

Each party’s nominee will be chosen by the summer, and the next president will be elected in November.

The New York Times has announced its endorsements for this year’s presidential race.

The publication endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican John Kasich in their bids to become their parties’ presidential candidates.

Hillary Clinton, the liberal daily said in an editorial, is “one of the most broadly and deeply qualified candidates” in modern history.

An outsider in the Republican race, the NYT called John Kasich the “only plausible choice”.

The backing comes days before Iowa voters become first to make their pick.Hillary Clinton and John Kasich NYT endorsements

The NYT backed Hillary Clinton in her losing bid for the presidency against Barack Obama in 2008.

It had praise for Hillary Clinton’s main rival, Bernie Sanders, but the paper said he “does not have the breadth of experience or policy ideas that Mrs. Clinton offers”.

Assessing the Republican field, Saturday’s editorial gave a damning verdict on the two leading contenders.

Frontrunner Donald Trump “has neither experience in nor interest in learning about national security, defense or global trade”, the paper said. Ted Cruz “will say anything to win”.

Instead, the NYT plumped for Ohio Governor John Kasich as “the only plausible choice for Republicans tired of the extremism and inexperience on display in this race”.

John Kasich tweeted he was “proud” to gain the NYT‘s support, even though the paper has been a frequent focus of criticism for US conservatives.

Donald Trump’s absence the final Republican debate before the Iowa caucuses was mocked by his rivals, who tried to fill the space vacated by the frontrunner’s boycott by attacking each other on immigration and other issues.

The New York billionaire decided to withdraw after Fox News refused to drop debate host Megyn Kelly, whom he accused of bias.

Donald Trump held a rally nearby – in honor of war veterans – that threatened to overshadow the debate itself.

On February 1, voters in Iowa are due to pick their presidential nominee for each party.

Days ahead of that critical test, Donald Trump’s absence on the stage in Des Moines was keenly felt by his seven rivals in the race to be Republican presidential nominee.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz addressed it with humor in the opening minutes by throwing mock insults at his rivals.

“I’m a maniac and everyone on this stage is stupid, fat and ugly, and Ben [Carson], you’re a terrible surgeon,” he said.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush also poked fun at Donald Trump – his chief tormenter in previous debates – by saying how much he missed him.Fox News debate January 2016

Elsewhere in Des Moines at the same time, Donald Trump led a raucous rally in honor of the country’s war veterans.

“When you’re treated badly, you have to stick up for your rights,” he said, referring to his row with Fox.

Fox News released a statement saying that Donald Trump offered to appear at the debate if the broadcaster contributed $5 million to his charities, but they refused.

Data released by Google after the debate suggested that search interest in Donald Trump still far surpassed the other candidates.

Many observers on social media thought the event was duller without Donald Trump.

Some of the night’s most heated moments were provided during exchanges about immigration.

Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio were both forced to explain video clips of previous statements that appeared to be at odds with their hard-line campaign pledges.

They then turned on each other, with Marco Rubio saying immigration was “the lie that Ted’s campaign is built upon”.

An Iraq war veteran who came to the US from Mexico as a child appeared via YouTube to tell the candidates that “some of the comments in this campaign make us question our place in this country”.

Jeb Bush applauded Dulce Candy and said “we should be a welcoming nation”.

The Iowa caucuses on February 1 are seen as the first real test of the election campaign, and the beginning of a series of state-by-state contests to choose delegates for both Republicans and Democrats.

Unlike a primary, which is a traditional election featuring secret ballots on polling day, the caucuses in Iowa are meetings of registered party voters and activists where they discuss the candidates and then vote.

Ex-NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg is thinking about running for president as an independent candidate, several outlets report.

Unnamed advisers told the New York Times that Michael Bloomberg, 73, sees a gap and has instructed staff to draw up plans.

In 2015, Michael Bloomberg commissioned a poll to see how he might perform against Republican frontrunner Donald Trump and Democratic favorite Hillary Clinton.

Photo AP

Photo AP

Michael Bloomberg would reportedly pump $1 billion of his fortune into a campaign.

The billionaire has yet to make a statement on the issue but members of his staff have told other US media that he is indeed thinking about running, especially if Hillary Clinton is wounded by her rival Bernie Sanders.

The New York Times also reports that he has set a deadline for making a final decision in early March, when he could still enter the race in all 50 states.

The Republican and Democratic candidates face their first real test in just over a week, when Iowa becomes the first state to make its choice of nominee.

Sarah Palin has announced her endorsement for Donald Trump’s presidential bid.

The populist ex-governor of Alaska was the Republican vice-presidential candidate in 2008.

“Are you ready to stump for Trump?” Sarah Palin asked cheering supporters at a campaign rally in Iowa.

Sarah Palin was John McCain’s running mate in 2008 before they lost to Barack Obama.

Despite retiring from politics in favor of a media career, Sarah Palin remains an influential conservative voice.

Officially announcing her endorsement, Sarah Palin said Donald Trump was someone ready to let US troops “kick ISIS’ ass”.

“We are ready for a change,” she told the rally in Ames, Iowa.Sarah Palin backs Donald Trump

“He [DonaldTrump] is beholden to no one but ‘we, the people’. He is perfectly positioned to let you make America great again.”

Donald Trump, who leads the Republican race, said in a statement that he was “proud” to receive Sarah Palin’s backing.

She was a “trusted conservative” with a “proven record of being fiscally modest, staunchly pro-life and [she] believes in small government that allows businesses to grow and freedom to prosper”, the statement added.

Sarah Palin was just two years into her Alaskan governorship when she was picked by John McCain to be his running mate.

The self-described “hockey mom” soon garnered huge crowds and massive media attention.

After the election in 2009, Sarah Palin resigned as Alaska governor and has since forged a lucrative career as a writer and political commentator.

Ahead of the announcement, Sarah Palin tweeted a link to an article by her daughter Bristol attacking Donald Trump’s main rival for the key Iowa caucus, Ted Cruz.

Iowa is the first chance for voters to have their say in the nomination race.

Ted Cruz has himself praised Sarah Palin saying “without her support, I wouldn’t be in the Senate” – a reference to her backing that helped him to his surprise victory in a 2012 Senate run-off election.

“Regardless of what she does in 2016, I will always be a big fan,” Ted Cruz tweeted.

Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s campaign team tweeted caustically after the announcement to Sarah Palin “congrats to the YouTube commenter who wrote your remarks”.

Democratic candidates have clashed on gun control and healthcare in their liveliest TV debate so far.

Hillary Clinton attacked Bernie Sanders’ record on gun control, and said his healthcare plan risked derailing recent legislation.

Bernie Sanders accused Hillary Clinton of being in the pocket of financial institutions responsible for the 2008 crisis.

While Hillary Clinton leads nationwide, Bernie Sanders is a threat in key states.

Hours before the debate in South Carolina, Bernie Sanders – a Vermont senator – had unveiled a healthcare plan for all American citizens.

This was the final Democratic debate before caucuses in Iowa on February 1 show who the state’s voters prefer as their candidate.

Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, who is trailing Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in polls, also took part in the lively debate in which personal attacks were few and far between.

Photo AP

Photo AP

Bernie Sanders announced his universal healthcare plan two hours before the debate started.

Hillary Clinton said any moves to scrap the current Affordable Healthcare Act risked plunging the Democrats into “contentious debate”. Instead, the party should work on improving the program, known as ObamaCare.

Bernie Sanders responded: “Nobody is tearing this up.”

He said he wanted to build on ObamaCare.

Gun control was the first subject in the two-hour debate, that was held near a church in Charleston where nine parishioners were shot dead in June 2015.

Hillary Clinton released an advertisement this week attacking Bernie Sanders for his attitude towards gun control. His home state, Vermont, has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the US, with close to one in two households owning a weapon.

In the debate, Hillary Clinton again highlighted legislation she said showed that Bernie Sanders supported the gun lobby.

However, Bernie Sanders told the debate he had a “D minus voting record” from the National Rifle Association, and fully supported moves by President Obama for tougher background checks on gun buyers.

Martin O’Malley pointed out restrictions he passed against combat assault weapons in Maryland, adding: “I have never met a self-respecting deer hunter who needed an AR-15 [semi-automatic rifle] to down a deer.”

Polls indicate Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are neck-and-neck ahead of the caucus in Iowa, where voters will decide who they want as their preferred candidate. She had once commanded a large lead.

In New Hampshire, Bernie Sanders holds a lead in polls ahead of voting in the primary there eight days later.

Donald Trump has attacked Ted Cruz over his birth in Canada in the latest Republican debate for White House hopefuls.

The Republican front-runner said Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s birth in Canada raised questions about his presidential eligibility: “There’s a big question mark over your head.”

The constitution mandates the president be a “natural born citizen” of the US.

Issues of national security, the economy and foreign policy have also played heavily in the debate.

In the polls, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are leading the five other candidates who were also on the stage in North Charleston.

The debate came just two weeks before the first real test of the campaign, when voters in Iowa pick their Republican and Democratic choices for president.

The event hosted by Fox Business Network came after days of Ted Cruz and Donald Trump taking shots at each other, shattering a months-long period of goodwill between the two men.

The start of hostilities began a week ago when the billionaire businessman started raising questions about whether the Texas senator’s birth in Canada put his eligibility in doubt.

Photo Reuters

Photo Reuters

However, on the debate stage on January 14, Ted Cruz said there was “zero chance” of a lawsuit succeeding, because the constitution’s definition of “natural born citizens” included people born to an American parent.

Ted Cruz was born in Calgary to an American mother and a Cuban father.

Donald Trump stood firm, noting that a Harvard law scholar had raised doubts and Ted Cruz could face lawsuits by Democrats wishing to challenge his qualification.

They also argued over the meaning of “New York values”, which Ted Cruz threw at the New York billionaire as a slur on his conservative credentials.

Donald Trump said that was an insult to the “great people” who pulled together after the 9/11 attacks.

After the debate, Donald Trump told reporters: “I guess the bromance is over.”

All the candidates targeted leading Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, who was repeatedly attacked for her time as Secretary of State.

The primary contests, in which each party picks their nominee for president, begin in February and the presidential election is in November.


Donald Trump has questioned whether rival candidate Ted Cruz is eligible to become a GOP nominee because he was born in Canada.

The Republican presidential front-runner called it a “very precarious” issue for the party and said that Ted Cruz’s nomination could be challenged in court.

Ted Cruz was born in Calgary to an American mother and a Cuban father.

Most legal experts believe Ted Cruz meets the requirements to be president.

The Cruz campaign responded by saying Donald Trump had “jumped the shark” – a pop culture reference to when a TV show or fad has overreached and fallen into decline.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

The Texas senator is performing well in polling in the early voting state of Iowa. While Donald Trump leads most polls, several surveys show Ted Cruz is the top choice of likely Republican voters.

Candidates for US president must be a “natural born citizen” – interpreted as being born in the US or having one parent who is a US citizen; be 35 years of age or older; live in the US for the past 14 years.

Much of Donald Trump’s support comes from independents, disillusioned Democrats and people who have never voted before.

Some analysts are predicting that Ted Cruz will win because of how the voting process is structured in Iowa.

The caucus format requires more time and dedication from voters than a typical US primary election.

Before Donald Trump became a presidential candidate, the New York tycoon had repeatedly questioned President Barack Obama’s citizenship.

Barack Obama was born in Hawaii to an American mother and a Kenyan father.

Authorities in Hawaii and Barack Obama both provided detailed birth records after some conservatives such as Donald Trump questioned where he was born.

Barack Obama’s allies have said the “birther” movement was a racist effort to discredit the county’s first black president.

Former New York Governor George Pataki has pulled out of the race for the Republican nomination.

Correspondents say George Pataki has failed to make any impact in the polls.

In a tweet on December 29, George Pataki said he was suspending his campaign but was “confident we can elect the right person”.George Pataki suspends presidential campaign

George Pataki launched his campaign in May, positioning himself as a moderate in a heavily conservative field.

However, he has barely registered in state or national polls and was not eligible to take part in televised debates involving the high-profile candidates.

Bruce Breton, a member of George Pataki’s New Hampshire steering committee, said the former governor had told him on Tuesday that he would be leaving the race.

He said George Pataki’s campaign had struggled to win media attention or to raise funds.

“He said he couldn’t get any traction. He worked hard, it’s just a different type of year,” Bruce Breton said.

Donald Trump has announced he is planning to spend $2 million a week on campaign advertising.

The Republican presidential hopeful said he would bring out “substantial” adverts in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina ahead of primary elections in February.

Photo AP

Photo AP

Donald Trump, a property tycoon, has previously said that he is funding his campaign himself and wouldn’t be in the pocket of lobbyists or powerful corporate entities. He has also insisted that he has spent very little on his campaign so far, and yet is the frontrunner.

“I’ll be spending a minimum of $2 million a week and perhaps substantially more,” Donald Trump said in a video broadcast on CNN.

“I’m going to be doing big ads in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and they’re going to be very substantial.”

Donald Trump’s campaign so far has been marked by a series of controversial statements.

The billionaire, who has no political experience, leads the polls nationally among Republican voters, and is also ahead in some key states.

The primary contests begin at the start of February and the presidential election is in November.

Donald Trump has mocked former secretary of state Hillary Clinton for apparently taking a toilet break during a televised Democratic debate.

The Republican presidential hopeful told supporters at a rally in Michigan: “I know where she went. It’s disgusting.”

Hillary Clinton returned to the stage late after an advert break during December 19 debate with her party rivals for the presidential nomination.

Donald Trump also said Hillary Clinton had been “schlonged” by Barack Obama in 2008.

Using a vulgar Yiddish term, the Republican frontrunner was referring to Hillary Clinton’s defeat to the then senator in the primary contests that year.

Photo CBS News

Photo CBS News

“Even her race to Obama. She was going to beat Obama. I don’t know who’d be worse. I don’t know. How does it get worse?

“She was favored to win and she got schlonged, she lost.”

It is not the first time Donald Trump has referred to women in a controversial way.

In August, the property tycoon implied that he received tough questions from Fox News debate host Megyn Kelly because she was menstruating.

He has previously described comedian Rosie O’Donnell as a “fat pig”.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have been feuding in recent days over claims she made that ISIS was using Donald Trump’s videos as a recruiting tool.

The billionaire has called for Muslims to be banned from entering the United States, in light of the San Bernardino deadly terror attack carried out by a radicalized Muslim couple.

Donald Trump, who has no political experience, leads the polls nationally among Republican voters, and is also ahead in some key states.

The primary contests begin at the start of February and the presidential election is in November 2016.

Republican presidential hopeful Lindsey Graham has announced he is dropping out of the race for GOP’s nomination.

The South Carolina senator said in a video posted on YouTube: “Today, I’m suspending my campaign for president.” 

Lindsey graham, 60, said it had been “a campaign we can be proud of” that was focused on US security.

He has performed well in the second-tier televised debates but failed to make an impact in the polls.

Photo Wikipedia

Photo Wikipedia

When Lindsey Graham launched his campaign earlier in the year, the foreign policy hawk emphasized his national security credentials, and he did so again when quitting the race on Monday.

He said the centerpiece of his campaign had been “securing our nation” and he had tried to “turn back the tide of isolationism that has been rising in the Republican Party”.

In this he said he had made enormous progress because some fellow Republicans had come round to his thinking that more US troops were needed on the ground in Syria and Iraq to fight ISIS.

Lindsey Graham’s departure leaves 12 main Republicans left in the contest, six weeks before the battle for each party’s nomination begins in Iowa.

GOP presidential candidates sparred over how to stop ISIS, in the first debate since attacks in San Bernardino and Paris.

The national security focus yielded heated exchanges between Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio who clashed on surveillance and immigration policy.

Jeb Bush also sought to revive his struggling campaign by forcefully attacking front-runner Donald Trump.

“You’re not going to be able to insult your way to the presidency,” he said.

Donald Trump was on the defensive early in the debate for his proposed ban on Muslims entering the US, saying: “We are not talking about religion, we are talking about security.”

However, the GOP debate quickly expanded to broader issues of foreign policy and national security.

The candidates repeatedly addressed heightened fears of terrorism in the US on the same day an emailed threat shut down Los Angeles’ school system.

The big question going into this last Republican debate of 2015 was how Donald Trump’s competitors would try to take the front-runner down.

It seems, however, that only Jeb Bush got that memo. He alone among the candidates engaged the real estate mogul directly, and if he had been as forceful several months ago as he was last night, his campaign might be in much better shape.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

Instead, most of the fireworks during the Las Vegas event occurred between the trio of first-term senators – Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz.

On the issues of national security and immigration, Marco Rubio faced off against his two congressional colleagues in often acrimonious exchanges.

Barely mentioned over the course of an evening that focused on foreign policy was Donald Trump’s call to close the US border to all Muslims.

Given how all the candidates assiduously avoided the subject, one would never have guessed that it was a story that merited global headlines and ignited a firestorm of controversy.

The top nine candidates disagreed over the scope of government surveillance and how to end the civil war raging in Syria.

“If terrorists strike again… the first question will be, <<Why didn’t we know about it and why didn’t we stop it?>>” said Marco Rubio, taking aim at Ted Cruz, who had voted to curtail government surveillance powers.

Another of Donald Trump’s proposals – “closing that internet up” to stop ISIS recruitment – has been hotly debated, with the candidate saying: “I don’t want them using our Internet.”

After defending it, he seemed confused by loud booing from the audience, and replied: “These are people that want to kill us folks.”

It was not the only time that the crowd played a part in the program; on several occasions the audience’s cheers and jeers forced a pause in the candidates’ conversation.

At one point, a heckler interrupted Donald Trump with inaudible comments.

Donald Trump loomed large over the so-called undercard debate, with the four candidates split over the efficacy of his proposed ban.

Senator Lindsey Graham apologized to US-allied Muslim leaders saying: “I am sorry. He does not represent us.”

Democrats debate on December 19, and both parties will hold debates in January.

The state-by-state primary contests in the presidential election begin in six weeks in Iowa on February 1st and will last for months.

Each party will formally nominate their candidate over the summer, with Hillary Clinton the favorite to win the Democratic nomination.

Americans will go to the polls in November 2016, and the newly elected president will assume office in late January of 2017.

Donald Trump has said he will never leave the 2016 White House race despite increasing calls for him to step aside.

The Republican presidential hopeful told the Washington Post he would not step aside, no matter what.

The White House had said Donald Trump was “disqualified” from running after he said the US should ban Muslims from entering the country.

Donald Trump’s comments, in the wake of a deadly terror attack in California, drew global condemnation.

The latest world leader to reject his remarks was Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, who said Israel “respects all religions”, hours after Donald Trump announced he will be visiting the country this month.

Donald Trump is the current frontrunner among the Republicans running for president, six weeks before the primary contests begin for each party to pick their nominee.Donald Trump White House 2016

He also alluded to running as an independent in a tweet linking to a USA Today poll which found 68% of his supporters would vote for him if he left the Republican Party.

Concerned that Donald Trump could run as an independent, the Republican leaders persuaded the real estate tycoon to pledge to support the eventual nominee.

However, Donald Trump has threatened to leave the Republican Party before if he was not “treated fairly”.

“My whole life is about winning. I don’t lose often. I almost never lose,” he told the Post.

Party officials fear a third-party Trump campaign would split the Republican vote, and give Democrats a winning advantage.

Although Donald Trump has consistently led in national polls for several months, a majority of voters view him unfavorably.

Republican congressman David Jolly has joined a number of commentators who have urged Donald Trump to withdraw from the race.

Donald Trump’s comments about Muslims came after the deadly shootings in San Bernardino, California.

He called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on”.

Former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush called Donald Trump “unhinged”. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said his comments were contrary to American values.

A petition calling for Donald Trump to be barred from entering the UK has gathered more than 250,000 names, so British lawmakers will have to consider debating the issue.

“They don’t know what they’re getting into,” Donald Trump wrote on Twitter about the petition.


Donald Trump has called for a ban on Muslims entering the US, in the wake of the deadly San Bernardino shootings.

In a campaign statement, the Republican presidential hopeful said a “total and complete” shutdown should remain until the US authorities “can figure out” Muslim attitudes to the US.

At a rally in South Carolina hours later, Donald Trump repeated the pledge, to loud cheers.

Criticism from the White House and other Republicans was swift.

The Republican frontrunner’s comments were contrary to US values and its national security interests, a statement from the White House said.

Republican Jeb Bush, also running for president, said Donald Trump was “unhinged”.

Donald Trump’s statement was delivered as the US comes to terms with its deadliest terror attack since 9/11.

Photo Instagram

Photo Instagram

Last week a Muslim couple, believed to have been radicalized, opened fire and killed 14 people at a health centre in San Bernardino, California.

On December 6, President Barack Obama made a rare Oval Office address in response to the attack and warned against the US falling prey to divisiveness.

Donald Trump’s statement to reporters on December 7 said polling by the Center for Security Policy, a conservative think-tank, indicated that 25% of Muslims in the US believed violence against America was justified.

“Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why, we will have to determine.

“Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.”

When asked by The Hill if that included Muslim Americans who may currently be abroad, his spokeswoman said: “Mr. Trump says everyone.”

The director of the Council on American Islamic Relations, Nihad Awad, said Donald Trump sounded like the leader of a lynch mob rather than a great nation.

Soon after his statement was released, Donald Trump’s Republican rival Ben Carson called on all visitors to the US to “register and be monitored” during their stay.

However, his spokesman added: “We do not and would not advocate being selective on one’s religion.”

Another Republican presidential hopeful, Senator Lindsey Graham, urged all those running to condemn Donald Trump’s remarks, which they did.

Donald Trump has said he would be open to having a “Muslim database” in the US in the wake of the Paris attacks.

The Republican presidential hopeful said in an interview with Yahoo Politics that he would consider “drastic measures” for monitoring the community.

Asked if that may include registering Muslims in a database or using special ID cards, Donald Trump did not rule it out.

ISIS militants said they carried out the attacks in Paris.

The suicide bombs and shootings at various venues across Paris killed 129 people on November 13.

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Photo Instagram

“We’re going to have to do things we never did before,” said Donald Trump, a frontrunner in the Republican race for the White House.

“And some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling security is going to rule.”

Donald Trump told Yahoo Politics certain things would have to be done “that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy.”

The US is going to have to do certain things that were “frankly unthinkable a year ago,” said Donald Trumo, who has previously said mosques should come under surveillance and Syrians should be deported.

Dozens of state governors and Republican lawmakers have called for a halt to the processing of Syrian refugees into the US.

One of the suicide bombers in Paris is thought to have entered Europe with refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war.

A bill tightening the vetting restrictions is due to come before Congress on November 19.

This week, President Barack Obama criticized Republicans as hysterical and un-American for saying the US should not accept Muslim refugees.

Bobby Jindal has dropped out of the race for the White House after struggling for months to gain traction amid a sprawling field of Republican candidates.

Although the Louisiana governor showed some strength in the early voting state of Iowa, he consistently performed poorly in national polls.

Bobby Jindal, 44, was shut out of the main Republican debates, relegated to secondary stages.

“This is not my time,” he said on November 17.

The Oxford-educated son of Indian immigrants added diversity to the Republican field, which includes African-American neurosurgeon Ben Carson and businesswoman Carly Fiorina.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

However, Governor Bobby Jindal sought to distance himself from his Indian heritage during the campaign.

“We are not Indian-Americans, African-Americans, Irish-Americans, rich Americans, or poor Americans. We are all Americans,” he told supporters when he launched his campaign in June.

Unpopular in his home state after a budget shortfall, Bobby Jindal had been considered a long-shot for the nomination.

During his campaign, Bobby Jindal sought to appeal to evangelical Christian voters, taking hard lines on gay rights and Islamic extremism.

However, he was courting the same slice of the electorate as rival candidates such as Ben Carson, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

Bobby Jindal joins former Texas Governor Rick Perry and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker who have also suspended their campaigns for president.

Fourteen Republicans remain in the presidential race.

A Hillary Clinton campaing rally at Clark Atlanta University has been interrupted by Black Lives Matter activists as she began a speech about reforming the criminal justice system.

The Democratic presidential contender spoke over the shouting, saying if elected she would carry on the work on President Barack Obama.

The group of 10 Black Lives Matter protesters were quickly escorted away.

They have interrupted campaign events to highlight police brutality, racism and mass incarceration.

The activists have mostly targeted Democrats – including Hillary Clinton and her chief rival Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have responded to the protests with policy proposals, meeting activists and talking about racial issues on the campaign trail.

The Black Lives Matter movement was originally formed after George Zimmerman, a Hispanic man in Florida, was acquitted of the shooting death of black teenager Trayvon Martin.

Photo EPA

Photo EPA

It grew to greater prominence after a white police officer killed Michael Brown – an unarmed black teenager – in Ferguson, Missouri, last year.

The protest movement has continued to gain strength over the past year after several controversial police-involved deaths of black people including those of Freddie Gray and Sandra Bland.

Friday’s rally was entitled “African Americans for Hillary”. Guests included pop singer Usher and civil rights activist and Congressman John Lewis.

The crowd of about 2,000 chanted “Let her talk!” and John Lewis asked them to stop.

“I’m sorry they didn’t listen, because some of what they demanded I am offering and intend to fight for as president,” Hillary Clinton said.

“We have to come together as a nation.”

In 1994, Hillary Clinton lobbied for one of the largest crime bills in US history, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which provided billions for prisons. The law also introduced the “three strikes” policy, which called for mandatory life imprisonment without parole for federal offenders with three or more felony or drug trafficking convictions.

Hillary Clinton has changed her position since she has been on the campaign trail, calling for the end of mass incarceration and expressing her concern over police violence and black people.

On October 30, Hillary Clinton also proposed a legal ban on racial profiling by police.

The policy would forbid federal, state and local officers from “relying on a person’s race when conducting routine or spontaneous investigatory activities,” unless they have information linking a suspect to a crime.

Hillary Clinton also supported the “ban the box” movement, an effort to prevent job applicants from being disqualified because of their criminal history.

Republican frontrunners Donald Trump and Ben Carson, with no political experience, were under attack from the start of the third GOP presidential debate in Colorado.

Ohio Governor John Kasich condemned their “fantasy tax plans” and added: “We can’t elect someone who doesn’t know how to do the job.”

Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who has edged past Donald Trump in the latest national polls, had a quiet night in Boulder.

His tax proposal, which is based on biblical tithes, was decried by John Kasich, who also dismissed Donald Trump’s plan to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants and build a wall on the Mexico border.Third GOP debate October 2015

Political friendships were strained by some of the testy exchanges, notably one between former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

Jeb Bush urged Marco Rubio, once his protégé, to resign from the Senate because of his poor voting record.

The media were also in the firing line – Texas Senator Ted Cruz got the night’s biggest applause when he attacked the hosts, CNBC for stirring confrontation.

“The questions that have been asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media. This is not a cage match.”

The hostility against CNBC continued after the debate when Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus complained about the “gotcha questions”.

The four lowest-polling Republican candidates squared off in an early debate.

Lindsey Graham, a senator from South Carolina, got the most laughs, especially when he said Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders “went to the Soviet Union on his honeymoon and I don’t think he ever came back”.

Primary voting begins in February in Iowa, 10 months before the US goes to the polls to vote for its new president.

Ben Carson has knocked Donald Trump off top spot in the Republican presidential campaign.

The retired neurosurgeon takes a narrow lead in a New York Times/CBS News poll, ousting Donald Trump who has led the pack for nearly four months.

The news comes on the eve of the third TV debate for Republican contenders.

The next-ranked candidates are Marco Rubio (8%), Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina (7% each) but they are a long way behind.

Conservative Ben Carson, who has expressed extreme views on a range of issues, has 26% of Republican primary voter support, according to the telephone poll of 575 voters.

The 64-year-old lead of 4% over Donald Trump is well within the 6% margin of error.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

Florida Senator Marco Rubio has 8% support and the rest closely follow behind him.

Donald Trump has turned his fire to Ben Carson in recent days, attacking him as “low energy” and questioning his Seventh Day Adventist faith.

The two will meet on the stage at Boulder, Colorado, at the Republican debate on October 28.

Primary voting begins in February in Iowa, where Ben Carson also leads the polls.

Ben Carson was criticized this week for comparing abortion to slavery.

The retired doctor has said President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform was “the worst thing” since slavery and that the US government is acting like Nazi Germany.

He also asserted that being gay is a choice, Muslims aren’t qualified to seek the US presidency, the Holocaust could have been prevented if persecuted Europeans owned more guns and – just a few days ago – that the US government should cut off funding to universities that are found to exhibit “extreme political bias”.

Ben Carson’s comments on abortion have set off yet another cycle of outrage from the left – a reaction that he will likely wear as a badge of honor.