The North State Journal continues to bring you a weekly update of the race to the White House. We’ll provide a weekly wrap-up of the controversial comments and breakdown of the top candidates every week so that you can stay up to date.
Today marks exactly one month until North Carolina’s primary election.
On the Democratic Side
It’s one to one. New Hampshire was a slam dunk for Bernie Sanders, while Clinton narrowly beat Sanders in Iowa. It was the closest margin in history. Last week, the two went head to head in a heated debate hosted by PBS. Clinton thrived when talking about foreign policy and attacked Sanders on his plans for the future.
Hillary Clinton: “You need to level with people about what they will have at the end of the process you are proposing. And based on every analysis that I can find by people who are sympathetic to the goal, the numbers don’t add up.”
Bernie Sanders: “I don’t know what economists Secretary Clinton is talking to,” Mr. Sanders said. “That is absolutely inaccurate.” Sanders continues to promote the idea of free college and wanting families to save money.
Clinton also said that Sanders does not support Barack Obama. Sanders responded that her comment was a “low blow.” He also responded by saying that Clinton was the one who ran against Obama.
On the Republican Side
In perhaps the most heated debate, the Republicans battled it out in Greenville, South Carolina. The North State Journal was there covering the debate.
Ted Cruz has one win under his belt from Iowa voters and Donald Trump has one win from New Hampshire’s primary. Therefore, it was expected for Cruz and Trump to take jabs at each other. Yet it was actually Jeb Bush vs. Donald Trump. Marco Rubio seemed to be the one to come out on top, a win he needed after his performance in New Hampshire.
The candidates addressed the importance of a Republican president to be the one to replace former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who passed away just before the debate. However, one of the most heated exchanges came when Donald Trump said the World Trade Center towers came down during George Bush’s tenure.
Donald Trump: “They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction and there were none.” Cruz accused Trump of being a long time supporter of legalized abortion. Trump responded by saying, “You are the single biggest liar. You may be worse than Jeb Bush.” Trump added, “Nasty guy. Now, I know why he doesn’t have one endorsement from any of his colleagues.”
Jeb Bush: “While Trump was building a reality TV show, my brother was building a national security apparatus to keep us safe.”
Marco Rubio: Rubio joined the fight by saying, “The World Trade Center came down because Bill Clinton didn’t kill Osama bin Laden when he had the chance to kill him.” Rubio also got into a verbal spat with Cruz when Cruz accused Rubio of flip-flopping over immigration issues on Spanish television station. “First of all, I don’t know how he knows what I said on Univision ’cause he doesn’t speak Spanish.”
Ted Cruz: While Cruz has admitted his Spanish is lousy, he did respond to Rubio by saying, “answer the question in Spanish.” He also responded to Trump’s attacks of being called a liar.
“It’s fairly remarkable to see Donald defending Ben after he called him pathological and compared him to a child molester.” Cruz added, “Donald has a weird pattern. When you point to his own record, he screams, ‘liar, liar, liar.’”
John Kasich: Kasich tried to stay above the fray. “People are sick of the negative campaigning and I’m going to stay positive.”
Ben Carson: Carson echoed the same sentiments. “A lot of people said you need to scream and jump up and down. But is that really what we want? With what happened to Justice Scalia, we can’t afford to lose this election and tear each other down.”
Here are some key election dates for North Carolina’s primary election:
Friday, Feb. 19
Voter registration is due for the Primary Election. The forms must be delivered or postmarked by 5:00 p.m. In addition, registration is available during early voting which is March 3-12.
Thursday, March 3
Early voting begins.
Saturday, March 12
Early voting ends at 1:00 p.m.
Tuesday, March 15
Election day. Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 18
Civilian absentee ballots must be delivered to the county’s election office by 5 p.m.
Monday March 18
Ballots postmarked on or before March 15 will also be accepted.
Monday, March 21
Military absentee ballots must be delivered by 5 p.m. Voters must qualify under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act.
For more information, visit NCSBE.gov.