With the Iowa caucuses a week away, 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.
On the Democratic Side
It’s go time. Tonight, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders will make closing arguments in Iowa as CNN’s Chris Cuomo hosts the town hall meeting. The poll numbers are tight between Clinton and Sanders. Will Sanders keep attacking Clinton about Wall Street? Will the calm and collected Clinton show up or will the more aggressive Clinton come to the table (the one who made an appearance in the last debate as her numbers started to slip)? One candidate who will certainly need to make his voice heard is former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley. He will be arguing why he should finish first instead of last.
What had some observers buzzing this past week was not an announcement made by one of the candidates, but from an outsider. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced he may consider running as an independent if Clinton does not win the Democratic nomination. Here is how Clinton and Sanders responded to the Bloomberg news.
- Hillary Clinton: “He’s a good friend of mine. The way I read what he said was, if I didn’t get the nomination he might consider it. Well, I’m going to relieve him of that and get the nomination so he doesn’t have to,” Clinton said on “Meet the Press.” The Des Moines Register, the most prominent daily newspaper in Iowa, announced it would support Hillary Clinton.
- Bernie Sanders: “My reaction is, if Donald Trump wins and Mr. Bloomberg gets in, you are going to have two multibillionaires running for president of the United States against me and I think Americans do not want to see our nation move towards an oligarchy where billionaires control the political process.”
On the Republican Side
Donald Trump welcomed Michael Bloomberg into the race and said he would love to have Bloomberg run. But it’s not Bloomberg making news on the Republican side, it’s the Cruz versus Trump attacks. Plus the fact that the Republican establishment is not supporting the top two candidates.
- Donald Trump: Trump argues Cruz is not a likable guy. “You can’t walk into the Senate, and scream, and call people liars, and not be able to cajole and get along with people,” says Trump on FOX News Sunday. “He’ll never get anything done. And that’s the problem with Ted.” National Review magazine published an issue featuring high-profile conservatives pronouncing their distaste for Trump because he is not conservative enough. Trump, however, received an endorsement from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who has been campaigning with him in Iowa.
- Ted Cruz: “I love Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin is fantastic. Without her friendship and support I wouldn’t be in the Senate today,’” says Cruz. “Regardless of what Sarah decides to do in 2016 I will always remain a big, big fan.” Cruz gets support from former Texas Gov. and presidential candidate Rick Perry. Conservative TV and radio host Glenn Beck also announced his support for the senator.
- Marco Rubio: Rubio is in third, but looking to finish strong as he gets big support in Iowa; two strong endorsements will help, the Des Moines Register and Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst. “I’m very optimistic about the energy we’re gaining, the endorsements, the support and the turnout on a day like today.” Rubio said as he addressed a crowd in the Hawkeye state. Rubio also noted that he is not only more practical than Trump and Cruz, but that he could beat Hillary Clinton.
A week after the Iowa caucuses comes the New Hampshire primary. Then, it is South Carolina. Check back here next Monday morning for your weekly re-cap of the presidential race to the White House.