Rubio Wins Puerto Rico, After Cruz And Trump Claimed Two States On Saturday

And Bernie Sanders won three states in the Democratic contests as Hillary won one. BuzzFeed News will update this post with news and winners from the primaries and caucuses through Sunday.

Here's the deal:

  • The Republican race for president is far from over: Ted Cruz delivered crushing wins in the Kansas and Maine Republican caucuses on Saturday, while Donald Trump won big in Louisiana and Kentucky.
  • In his victory speech, Trump called for Marco Rubio to drop out of the race. Rubio put on another poor performance Saturday, winning no states. "I want Ted one-on-one," Trump said. Rubio, he said, is "coming in virtually last in every race."
  • But on Sunday, Rubio enjoyed a small victory, winning the Republican primary in Puerto Rico.
  • Cruz's large-margin victories came as a surprise. "The howl that comes from Washington D.C. is utter terror at what we the people are doing together," Cruz said during his address. "We're seeing conservatives coming together."
  • Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, defeated Hillary Clinton in the Maine, Kansas and Nebraska Democratic caucuses. Clinton defeated him easily in Louisiana. These results were expected.
  • The way the preliminary counts are working out, it looks like there won't be much overall impact in the delegate counts for Democrats or Republicans.
  • For a quick rundown of Saturday evening, click here.
  • Saturday's votes come after a wild week on the campaign trail: Trump referenced his penis size in a debate, where he was otherwise attacked by Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz; former presidential candidate Mitt Romney blasted Trump in a speech; and Chris Christie had to explain that Trump was not holding him "hostage."

Here's the delegate situation as of 9:40 p.m. Sunday. Check back for updates:


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Sanders Gets Surprise Endorsement In Michigan

FLINT, Michigan — In an impromptu press conference moments before a Democratic presidential debate on University of Michigan campus here, Bernie Sanders announced the endorsement of former Sen. Don Riegle.

Riegle, a Flint native, represented Michigan in the Senate from 1976 to 1995. Reigle told reporters Sanders was best poised to help solve Flint's ongoing water crisis and backed his call for campaign finance reform and pushing back on the influence of money in Washington.

He also served as a Sanders attack dog, speaking sharply about Hillary Clinton's public support for the NAFTA trade agreement signed during her husband's administration and over her vote in favor of the Iraq war.

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Bernie Sanders Wins Maine Democratic Caucus

Bernie Sanders won the Democratic caucus in Maine on Sunday, the Associated Press reported.

CORRECTS CALL TIME:BREAKING:Sanders wins Democratic presidential caucuses in Maine.@AP race call at 8:04 p.m. EST. #Election2016 #APracecall

With 75% of precincts reporting, Sanders had taken 63.8% of the vote to Hillary Clinton's 36%.

The candidates were vying for Maine's 25 delegates.

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Marco Rubio Wins Republican Primary In Puerto Rico

BREAKING: Marco Rubio wins the Republican presidential primary in Puerto Rico. @AP race call at 4:26 p.m. EST. #Election2016 #APracecall

Marco Rubio won the Republican primary in Puerto Rico on Sunday, the second victory for the Florida senator as he seeks to become the party's presidential candidate.

Campaign staff and supporters told BuzzFeed News they were confident Rubio would win big in the island territory. At stake are 23 delegates.

After tough Sat, Rubio surrogates casting results as momentum heading into Florida, which has a lot of Puerto Rican voters. Story coming.

The victory came after Donald Trump on Saturday called for Rubio to drop out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination. In response, a spokesman for Rubio said the campaign believed they had momentum leading up to the Florida primary, and a Trump loss in that state would be a turning point in the race.

Rubio previously won the Minnesota caucus.

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Schwarzenegger Endorses Kasich In Ohio

Facebook: video.php

Former California governor and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger endorsed John Kasich on Sunday.

Schwarzenegger appeared at a rally in Columbus, Ohio, where he pointed to Kasich's record as governor in the state, describing him as an "action hero" for strengthening the local economy.

The Terminator star has previously appeared with Kasich, but he made his endorsement official Sunday on Snapchat.

Gov @Schwarzenegger just did the first-ever @Snapchat endorsement announcement for his old friend @JohnKasich.

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“SNL” Mocks Donald Trump With Commercial About Racists

The ad, called "Racists for Trump," featured interviews with fictional supporters of the GOP frontrunner. When the camera pulled out, it became clear that the Trump supporters were Nazis and members of the KKK.

Read the full post here.

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Trump Calls On Rubio To Drop Out

Donald Trump said he hoped for a head-to-head race with Ted Cruz after the two candidates each took wins in two states on Saturday.

Trump called on Marco Rubio to drop out of the race for the Republican nomination.

"You've got to be able to win, and he's not been able to win" Trump said.

Rubio, he said, is "coming in virtually last in every race."

.@realDonaldTrump says @marcorubio should drop out of the race

Trump again called Cruz a liar as he also congratulated him on his performance in Maine and Kansas.

"Oh, do I want to run against just Ted," Trump said. "That will be easy."

Trump also spoke against the idea of a conservative third-party candidate. He warned that should any of the prospective Republican candidates launch a third-party run, they would effectively be handing Hillary Clinton the presidency.

"I'm the only person that's going to beat her," Trump said.

Rubio spokesman @AlexConant responds to Trump calling on Rubio to drop out. (Short answer: Nope.)

A spokesman for the Rubio campaign responded that he would not be dropping out. Instead, Rubio is looking forward to the Florida primary on March 15, he said.

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Here's a quick recap of the evening. First The Republican Side:

The Republican presidential race is far from over — Ted Cruz crushed Donald Trump in two caucuses on Saturday, surprisingly strong showings that he hopes will throw off the businessman's momentum from Super Tuesday.

Cruz and Trump each solidly beat each other in two of the night's four GOP contests. Cruz won in Kansas — getting 48% of the vote over Trump's 23% — and in Maine, getting 46% to Trump's 33%

Trump won big in Louisiana — Cruz's backyard — and in Kentucky, continuing to proving he has appeal in diverse parts of the country.

Neither candidate delivered a significant blow in terms of delegates, though the numbers are still being worked out.

Cruz used his seventh victory of the campaign season to keep hammering away at his point that he is the only Republican candidate who can beat Trump for the nomination — essentially a call for Marco Rubio and John Kasich to clear out of the race.

"Republicans are coalescing saying, it would be a disaster for Donald Trump" to be the nominee, he said at a news conference.

"We have a breadth of support," he said when asked about the Florida primary in about two weeks. "We see the broad spectrum of the party coming together behind our campaign."

The results also showed that Cruz performs well in caucuses — though there aren't many more of those left in the race.

Trump, in his victory speech and press conference, called for Rubio to exit the race and reminded people how he and Cruz attacked him in the last debate.

"I think it's time that he drops out," Trump said about Rubio. "I want Ted one-on-one" he said, adding he would beat Cruz in northeastern states like Pennsylvania and New York.

"Millions and millions of people are coming in and voting, and we've never seen anything like it," he said. "If I were not involved" it wouldn't be happening, he said. "As a party we should come together and stop this foolishness...the establishment is not happy."

Rubio — who is from Florida and is trying to convince mainstream GOP voters that he is the only person who can both beat Trump and win in a general election — had yet another poor showing on Saturday night.

Speaking in Puerto Rico, Rubio said the road ahead will be better. The "map only gets better for us," he said.

And The Democrats:

The three races between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton played out as expected, with Sanders winning the Nebraska and Kansas caucuses and Clinton easily coming out ahead in Louisiana.

Like the Republicans, neither candidate is expected to come out significantly ahead in the delegate counts from Saturday.

Both candidates looked forward to Michigan in their victory speeches.

During a lengthy speech in Warren Michigan, Sanders hit on familiar topics of corporate greed and social reforms.

The speech touched on most of Sanders' signature concepts. He called for criminal justice reform. He promised to raise the minimum wage to $15 and make college tuition-free. He slammed Hillary Clinton for her relationship to Wall Street and Donald Trump for comments on race, religion, and President Obama.

"Please do not forget that Trump was one of the leaders of the so-called birthed movement, trying to delegitimize the president of the United States," Sanders said.

Clinton also spent little time on on her Louisiana win during her address in Detriot.

"Now all eyes turn to Michigan," Clinton said, adding, "I can tell you this, we're going to work for every vote."

"We need to elect Democrats up and down the ticket in November," Clinton said. "But first my friends, we have to win this election. And we all know the stakes are getting higher, and the rhetoric on the other side keeps getting lower."

She added, "We can't afford to win the White House, and let them keep the Congress."

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Donald Trump Won The Kentucky Caucus — Tying Cruz With Two Wins

BREAKING: Donald Trump wins the Republican caucuses in Kentucky. @AP race call at 10:46 p.m. EST. #Election2016 #APracecall

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Clinton: "Now All Eyes Turn To Michigan"

Hillary Clinton, in a speech in Detroit on Saturday, briefly mentioned the night's ongoing Democratic races, congratulating her opponent Bernie Sanders before turning her attention to Tuesday's Michigan primary.

"Now all eyes turn to Michigan," Clinton said, adding, "I can tell you this, we're going to work for every vote."

Shortly after taking the stage in Detroit, Clinton was declared the winner in Louisiana's Democratic Primary. Earlier in the evening, Sanders claimed victory in Kansas and Nebraska.

Clinton focused the early part of her speech on strengthening the Democratic party at every level of government.

"We need to elect Democrats up and down the ticket in November," Clinton said. "But first my friends, we have to win this election. And we all know the stakes are getting higher, and the rhetoric on the other side keeps getting lower."

She added, "We can't afford to win the White House, and let them keep the Congress."

Kyle Blaine

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Donald Trump Scored A Big Victory In The Louisiana Primary, Beating Ted Cruz In His Own Backyard.

BREAKING: Donald Trump wins the Republican presidential primary in Louisiana. @AP race call at 9:22 p.m. EST. #Election2016 #APracecall

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Hillary Clinton Wis Big In Louisiana — It Was Called Minutes After Polls Closed

BREAKING: Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic presidential primary in Louisiana. @AP race call at 9:15 p.m. EST. #Election2016 #APracecall

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Bernie Sanders Defeats Clinton in Nebraska, His Second Win Of the Night

BREAKING: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders wins Democratic caucuses in Nebraska. @AP race call at 9:04 p.m. EST. #Election2016 #APracecall

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Rubio: "The Map Only Gets Friendlier For Us"

Marco Rubio vowed to keep fighting for the Republican presidential nomination after early results in Saturday night's contests showed Ted Cruz and Donald Trump dominating.

"We're going to continue building our delegate total," Rubio, who was in Puerto Rico, told reporters during a brief speech. "And the map only gets friendlier for us."

Rubio is hoping for a win in Puerto Rico's primary on Sunday to boost his campaign.

Rubio argued that Puerto Ricans "have the right to an up or down vote" on the issue of statehood, and that the U.S. territory's status should be resolved. He also criticized the local government, blaming it for the island's economic struggles.

"Your government is spending more money than comes in," he said. He delivered his comments in both Spanish and English.

Jim Dalrymple II

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Ted Cruz takes Maine Republican caucus

Republican official in Maine announced Saturday night that Ted Cruz had won the state's caucus, though delegates will be distributed between the top three candidates.

Cruz took 45.84% of the vote, earning him 12 delegates. Donald Trump followed with 32.55% of the vote and nine delegates, and John Kasich earned 12.17% of the vote and two delegates.

Marco Rubio finished fourth, with 8% of the vote.

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Sanders Looks Ahead To Michigan

During a lengthy speech Saturday prior to the completion of any of the night's Democratic races, Bernie Sanders hit on familiar topics of corporate greed and social reforms while making little mention of the party's three ongoing contests.

Sanders instead focused on Michigan's upcoming primary, delivering his speech in Warren, Michigan, a state that will hold a Democratic debate Sunday and its primary Tuesday.

The speech touched on most of Sanders' signature concepts. He called for criminal justice reform. He promised to raise the minimum wage to $15 and make college tuition-free. He slammed Hillary Clinton for her relationship to Wall Street and Donald Trump for comments on race, religion, and President Obama.

"Please do not forget that Trump was one of the leaders of the so-called birthed movement, trying to delegitimize the president of the United States," Sanders said.

When he finally mentioned the ongoing primary season, Sanders emphasized his intention to win Michigan — where polls have him trailing Clinton — and made almost no mention of Saturdays Democratic primaries in Kansas and Louisiana and the caucus in Nebraska.

Jim Dalrymple II

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Bernie Sanders Beats Hillary Clinton In Kansas

It's official: @BernieSanders takes Kansas.

The result was reported by the state's Democratic party.

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Cruz At Victory Speech: "Our Campaign Will Have Now Beaten Donald Trump Seven Times All Over This Country."

At a victory rally and news conference in Idaho, Ted Cruz reiterated that he is the right person to defeat Donald Trump and implied other candidates should clear out for him.

Cruz spoke just after the Associated Press called Kansas for him with, at that time, more than 50% of the vote.

"And the scream you hear, the howl that comes from Washington D.C. is utter terror at what we the people are doing together," he said.

He said that if his campaign held Maine, where he was leading early, "we will have beaten Donald Trump seven times all over this country."

"We can and will beat Donald Trump over and over again," Cruz said.

"Republicans are coalescing saying, it would be a disaster for Donald Trump" to be the nominee, he said at a later news conference.

"I've made an explicit invitation for people supporting other candidates to come support us," Cruz said.

"We have a breadth of support," he said when asked about the Florida primary in about two weeks, where his rival Marco Rubio is from. "We see the broad spectrum of the party coming together behind our campaign."

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Ted Cruz Still Has A Lot Of Fight Left: He Just Beat Trump In The Kansas Republican Caucus

BREAKING: Texas Sen. Ted Cruz wins the Republican caucuses in Kansas. @AP race call at 5:36 p.m. EST. #Election2016 #

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Cruz Also Holding An Early Lead In Maine

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A Guy In Florida Dressed Up As Trump's Wall With Mexico

One Donald Trump supporter took an extremely creative — and literal — approach to showing his enthusiasm for the presidential candidate during his Saturday rally in Orlando, Florida.

Read the full post here

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Ted Cruz Jumps To A Big — But Early — Lead in Kansas Caucus

Cruz is up 49% to Trump's 26% — but less than 20% of precincts have reported their results, the New York Times reported.

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Trump Made Everyone At His Rally Raise Their Hand And Pledge To Vote For HIm

Trump's rally in Orlando was interrupted several times by protesters, prompting him to say, "I wish we had some real protesters — protesters with guts."

The protesters were escorted out of the rally as Trump said, "Get them out of here, but don't hurt them."

The Republican frontrunner addressed the packed arena, saying, "We're not going to be the stupid county, we're not going to be the stupid people. We're going to be the smart country and the smart people."

In his speech, Trump attacked "nasty little Marco," and "lying Ted Cruz." He called the media, "the most dishonest, disgusting human beings on earth," but said that he's "going to have to be nicer to The New York Times" after the published a "phenomenal" front page article on him.

Regarding his comments on waterboarding, Trump said he would obey the laws, but "broaden" them. After a woman fainted at the rally, Trump said, "We love people that faint."

He made the audience raise their right hands and take a pledge to vote for him in the primary.

"I'm greedy for the United States of America," he said.

Donald Trump makes members of his Orlando crowd raise their right hands and swear to vote in the primary.

Check out the massive line for the rally:

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Louis C.K. Called Trump “Hitler” And An “Insane Bigot”

In a lengthy postscript to a Saturday email blast about his web show Horace and Pete, the comedian urged people not to vote for Trump, writing, "If you are true conservative, don't vote for Trump. He is not one of you. He is one of him."

"Please stop it with voting for Trump," the comedian wrote. "It was funny for a little while. But the guy is Hitler. And by that I mean that we are being Germany in the 30s. Do you think they saw the shit coming? Hitler was just some hilarious and refreshing dude with a weird comb over who would say anything at all."

However, Louis said he wasn't advocating for Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. "I like them both," he wrote, "but frankly I wish the next president was a conservative only because we had Obama for eight years and we need balance."

Instead, he asked conservatives to "please pick someone else. Like John Kasich. I mean that guy seems okay."

He wrote that voting between Kasich and either Democratic candidate would feel like a "healthier choice."

"We shouldn't have to vote for someone because they're not a shocking cunt billionaire liar."

Tasneem Nashrulla

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Sanders Points To Nebraska For More Evidence Of Latino Support

Aides with Bernie Sanders presidential campaign said Saturday early results from Democratic caucuses in Nebraska bolster the campaign's claim that it's making inroads with the Latino electorate.

Latino-heavy precincts in Nebraska's 5th and 7th legislative Districts "seem to be breaking our way," a Sanders campaign aide told BuzzFeed News Saturday.

The Sanders campaign has pointed to entrance polls in the Nevada caucuses as well as the lopsided Sanders victory in last week's Colorado caucus as evidence the campaign is building support among Latino voters. Hillary Clinton's has pointed to its victory in the Texas primary — 72% to 27%, according to exit polls — as well as other polling data to show it has the Democratic Latino vote sewn up.

Evan McMorris-Santoro

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Clinton Grows Her Super Tuesday Delegate Lead

DETROIT — Hillary Clinton's lead over Bernie Sanders has grown to 199 pledged delegates, her campaign announced on Saturday following the completion of vote-counting in the Super Tuesday states.

Of the 11 states that voted earlier this week, Clinton won seven, as well as one territory, building her pledged delegate count to 610. Sanders has 411 pledged delegates. The lead is larger than any Barack Obama had at any point against Clinton in the last Democratic primary, her aides have noted repeatedly.

In the four states she lost, Clinton still managed to score a competitive number of delegates in all but Vermont, Sanders's home state, where she came away with zero. Across the other three, the delegate margin was closer: In Minnesota, Clinton took 31 to Sanders' 46; in Colorado, 28 to 38; and in Oklahoma, 17 to 21.

Throughout rest of March, Clinton will face Sanders in a number of caucus states, beginning with Nebraska and Kansas on Saturday, and continuing on to Maine, Idaho, Utah, Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington. The Vermont senator is expected to perform well in many of the contests, benefiting from the caucus-style format.

Clinton aides have said they will seek to compete aggressively for delegates, even in states where Sanders may be favored.

"We are not going to give up on those states," spokesman Brian Fallon told reporters earlier this week. "She's going to be in front of those voters. That makes sense to do in general. But it also makes sense to do in terms of a delegate perspective, because we're always looking to maximize the number of delegates we can win in a state, even if we come up short in the overall."

Among the states that voted last Tuesday, Sanders performed worst in the South, where people of color have moved in enduringly large numbers to support Clinton's campaign.

In Alabama, for instance, where Clinton won 78 to 19%, Sanders netted just 9 delegates to Clinton's 44.

Ruby Cramer

The updated totals:

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Report: Trump Broke Debate Rules

Donald Trump reportedly violated the rules of Thursday's Fox News Republican debate by consulting with his campaign manager during commercial breaks, CNN reported on Saturday.

"Rival campaign sources" told the network that Trump has a "pattern" of consulting backstage with his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, despite such contact being against the rules.

However, on Thursday Lewandowski is reported to have walked on the stage to speak to the Republican billionaire businessman and then refused to leave the stage when Fox staff asked him to do so.

Fox representatives then reportedly told the other candidates that they could consult with their campaign staff, as Trump had broken the rules.

The Trump campaign did not immediately return a request for comment. — David Mack

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Here is Ben Carson's full statement on leaving the campaign trail:

I have lived a blessed life and achieved more success than I ever dreamed was possible. Running for President was never on my bucket list, and when I was drafted by a grassroots movement asking me to do so, it was not a decision that I made lightly and saw as an act of service.

However, I believed that my values, life experience and common sense solutions put me in a position to help get our nation back on track for the sake of our children and grandchildren. This grueling endeavor would not have been worth it for any other reason.

When I began exploring a run for President as a private citizen detached from the political class, I had neither a political team nor a national network of wealthy donors standing by waiting to support me.

We had to build a grassroots campaign from scratch by reaching out to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible and through every means possible, resulting in indisputable success. This movement consistently outraised the entire Republican field, got onto every ballot and built a 50-state, bricks-and-mortar campaign infrastructure to share my story, values and solutions. It was an historic feat, and I'll be forever grateful to my team and my incredible supporters, financial and otherwise, from all corners of America, on behalf of the best interests of the American people.

I hope my presence added a measure of civility to the race, raised issues that would not otherwise have been discussed and had an overall positive impact. While our political efforts must come to a close, gratefully, the grassroots movement that has given new voice to "We the People" and inspired millions will continue.

I may be departing the campaign trail, but I will not be departing the scene. Instead, for the rest of my life, I will continue to work tirelessly to do everything I can to save America for the next generation.

I will be working on a number of initiatives, including serving as honorary chair of My Faith Votes, a non-profit organization dedicated to mobilizing the 25 million Evangelicals who didn't vote in the last election. The twin pillars of faith and family are under attack, and I will endeavor to strengthen our nation by preserving them both.

I have committed to not endorse a specific individual, but rather "We the People." Though many today are making decisions based on fear and anger, I trust their judgment to logically examine the candidates and make the right decision by looking at:

  • whether they have demonstrated significant accomplishments over their lives and careers;
  • if they have ideas that are clear and policies that are easy to find;
  • how they treat their family and others, as that is how they will lead the country;
  • what they have done to improve the lives of Americans;
  • the people they are with, what they are saying and how they collaborate with others;
  • their ethics, because what America needs is "Trickle-down ethics."

Conservatives should not be embarrassed by capitalism, but must couple it with compassion, to lift people out of a culture of dependency and provide ladders of opportunity for all Americans to be a part of the fabric of society.

People need to understand this is a most important election, in which we are deciding whether we allow the government to dictate our rights and take care of our needs, or whether individuals will rise up and take responsibility in an atmosphere of opportunity for all.

The bottom line is, "We the People" are the ones making the decisions; but in order to do that, we must become active and informed, not manipulated by the political classes and media.

Along with millions of patriots who have supported my campaign for President, I remain committed to saving America for future generations. We must not depart from our goals to restore what God and our Founders intended for this exceptional nation.

Equally important, we need to understand that Republicans are not each others' enemies. We need to engage in conversation and challenge each others' positions, not fight each other. Conservatives need to unify together so that that we do not snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and put another secular progressive in the White House.

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Ben Carson Drops Out Of Presidential Race

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson ended his bid for the White House on Friday, four days after failing to win any Super Tuesday contests.

Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, announced that he was dropping out of the race during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C.

"Even though I might be leaving the campaign trail, you know there's a lot of people who love me," Carson said. "They just won't vote for me."

He added that he would still be "heavily involved in trying to save our nation."

In a statement, Carson said despite the fact that running for president was never on his bucket list, he believed that his "values, life experience, and common sense solutions put me in a position to help get our nation back on track for the sake of our children and grandchildren."

— Jim Dalrymple

Read more here.

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Rubio On Voting For Trump: It’s A Bridge I Don’t Want To Have To Cross

A day after committing to support Donald Trump as the Republican nominee, Marco Rubio says Trump will not be the nominee and voting for him would be a "bridge you don't ever want to have to cross."

During the debate on Thursday, Rubio said, "I'll support the Republican nominee. I'll support Donald if he's the Republican nominee," arguing that Trump was preferable to Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.

Asked on Friday in an interview with Kentucky Sports Radio about the apparent contradiction between Rubio's support for the growing "#NeverTrump" movement among Republicans and his answer at the debate, Rubio said, "Well, I mean, for me, I'm never voting for Donald Trump in the Republican primary."

Pressed further, Rubio said the question itself was a reflection of how Trump has divided the Republican party.

—Christopher Massie
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Sanders Campaign To Ramp Up Black Outreach Before Midwest Primaries

WASHINGTON — Bernie Sanders' campaign for president will ramp up its outreach to black voters in delegate-rich states like Illinois, North Carolina, and Missouri, campaign aides tell BuzzFeed News.

In recent weeks, voters from more diverse states — and in particular, black southern voters — have delivered huge, decisive wins for Hillary Clinton. In advance of Super Tuesday, Sanders predicted more losses among black voters in the southern primaries, but suggested black voters in other parts of the country would be more supportive of his candidacy.

"I think you're going to see us doing — and I think the polls indicated it, much better within the African-American community outside of the Deep South," Sanders said on This Week. "You're going to see us much better in New York state where I think we have a shot to win, in California and in Michigan."

Over the next two weeks, Sanders campaign surrogates — and, in some cases, the candidate — will meet with local activists. The campaign has employed this strategy before, but surrogates and aides said now it will be more publicized. Sanders, according to two sources briefed on the campaign's plans, will also be more specific about economic inequality and its effect on black communities in his stump speech. One activist, who wasn't authorized to speak for their organization, said the Sanders campaign told the activist that Bernie would speak more about how structural racism is tied to the heart of his message about economic inequality.

—Darren Sands

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The One Thing I Didn’t Get Wrong About Donald Trump

An apology — of sorts — from BuzzFeed News reporter McKay Coppins:

About half an hour into Thursday night's presidential debate, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump took a moment to call me out for the worst prediction of my career.

It happened when a moderator asked him to respond to a recent BuzzFeed News report that he had secretly hedged on his hardline immigration proposals during an off-the-record interview with liberal New York Times editors.

Trump responded, characteristically, with a small declaration of victory.

"First of all, BuzzFeed, they were the ones that said under no circumstances will I run for president, and were they wrong," Trump said.

He was referring to a 2014 profile I wrote, titled, "36 Hours On The Fake Campaign Trail With Donald Trump." In the story, I chronicle two accidental days spent inside the billionaire's bubble, and I make the case that his 25-year history of flirting with — and then abandoning — various presidential bids constitutes a "long con" designed to generate publicity.

"If history is any judge," I wrote at the time, "Trump is about as likely to run for president in his lifetime as he is to accept follicular defeat."

Two years later, Trump is on the verge of winning the Republican presidential nomination.

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Here’s Everything You Need To Know About The GOP’s Latest Brawl

  • The first question of the night went to Donald Trump, who was asked to respond to Mitt Romney's criticism of him early in the day.
  • Trump immediately came under heavy attack from Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, who are both facing potential elimination if they don't start rallying more voters to their sides.
  • Trump soon addressed comments about his "small hands." He made a not-so-thinly veiled reference to his genitals.
  • Trump said that he will not ask The New York Times to release the audio from his editorial board meeting.
  • Trump said that the military "won't refuse" his illegal orders to target terrorists' families and use torture.
  • Rubio tried to make the case that he can rally the Republican establishment to his side. Cruz repeated that he has beaten Trump in more states than anyone else and has the conservative credentials to win.
  • John Kasich struggled to break through during the debate.
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How Mitt Romney Decided To Take On Donald Trump

On Feb. 2, 2012, Mitt Romney stood uncomfortably on a stage at Donald Trump's eponymous Las Vegas hotel and accepted the billionaire's endorsement for president.

"There are some things you just can't imagine happening," Romney said, looking as though he couldn't believe what was happening. "This is one of them."

Four years later, Trump is on the verge of winning the Republican presidential nomination — and Romney has emerged as one of the frontrunner's most outspoken opponents.

"Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud," Romney said in a speech Thursday. "His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He's playing the American public for suckers."

Romney's decision to fully throw his support behind the anti-Trump wing of the GOP was both personal and practical, according to friends and former advisers. In a fractured party with few neutral arbiters or power brokers, Romney came to believe he could play a key role in orchestrating the Republican opposition to Trump. And even though his allies continue to defend his cozying up to Trump in 2012, Romney himself has privately expressed a sense of personal obligation to help undo whatever damage that episode might have caused.

—McKay Coppins

Read more here

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Clinton Campaign Sees Its Coalition Growing After Super Tuesday

As the final tallies came in on Super Tuesday, even after Hillary Clinton had already secured massive victories among people of color in the Southern states, campaign aides were still keeping special watch over results from the very rural and very white wedge of land that makes up Virginia's 9th Congressional District.

The southwestern corner of the state, encompassing 20 full counties and parts of two others, is comprised almost exclusively of white voters. And Clinton — after faltering early against Bernie Sanders in mostly white states like Iowa and New Hampshire — appeared to be winning.

If she could hold her lead there, aides argued inside the dark Miami event space where the candidate held her victory rally, it would be evidence of a broadening, diverse, November-ready Clinton coalition.

By night's end, Clinton clinched seven states, one U.S. territory, and a lead of more than 180 pledged delegates over Sanders, campaign manager Robby Mook noted in a four-page memo released by the campaign on Wednesday. The delegate margin, Mook argues, is larger than any Barack Obama had in the last Democratic primary — making it "increasingly difficult and eventually mathematically impossible for Sanders to catch up."

—Ruby Cramer

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