Trump looks to appeal to evangelicals at Liberty University
LYNCHBURG, Virginia (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump worked to appeal to evangelical voters as he delivered the convocation address at Virginia’s Liberty University.
Trump vowed Monday to protect Christianity if he’s elected president and quoted a biblical verse in his speech.
But Trump also drew chuckles from students when he introduced the verse as coming from “Two Corinthians” instead of “Second Corinthians.”
Trump was given a rousing introduction by school president Jerry Falwell Jr., who said Trump reminded him of his father.
The visit also prompted protests from a handful of students angry that Trump had been invited to speak on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Ted Cruz says Donald Trump becoming ‘rattled’ by his gains
WASHINGTON, New Hampshire (AP) — Ted Cruz is accusing his Republican rival Donald Trump of exhibiting inconsistent conservativism, suggesting he is not prepared to be president.
Cruz accused the billionaire investor of becoming “rattled” and “dismayed” by the Texas senator’s gains.
The war of words between Cruz and Trump intensified in recent days, with Trump continuing to question Cruz’s eligibility to be on the ballot given his Canadian birth and for not disclosing loans hereceived from Citibank and Goldman Sachs for his 2012 senate race.
“Donald seems to be a little rattled,” Cruz told reporters before a town hall in Washington, New Hampshire. “For whatever reason he is very, very dismayed. I guess as conservatives continue to unite behind our campaign, as his poll numbers continue to go down, he’s a little testier.”
Rubio: Faith ‘single greatest influence in my life’
WAVERLY, Iowa (AP) — Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio is promoting his Christian faith as he campaigns across Iowa.
The Florida senator, a Catholic, says faith “is the single greatest influence” in his life. He opened up about religion when confronted by an atheist during a town hall-style meeting Monday in Waverly, Iowa.
Rubio told the atheist that “no one’s going to force you to believe in God.” Then he charged, “But no one’s going to force me to stop talking about God.”
Rubio is trying to break out of the crowded Republican field just two weeks before Iowa’s leadoff caucuses. Christian conservative voters typically play outsized influence in the opening contest.
Rubio also renewed his opposition to abortion and promised to strip funding from Planned Parenthood.
Bush calls for overhaul of nation’s education system
NASHUA, N.H. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush is rolling out a broad education reform plan that would shift power and money to states and local school districts, and away from the federal government.
He also wants to revamp how high school graduates and their parents finance college and other career training.
Bush released his “blueprint” Monday to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, saying that “access to a quality education is the great civil rights challenge of our time.”
Bush said he believes King, if he were alive today, would be fighting to “close the education gap between the haves and have-nots” to lift families out of poverty.
As a two-term Florida governor, Bush built a national reputation for reforming the state’s public school system.
Democratic candidates speak at King Day rally
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — All three Democratic presidential candidates have been in South Carolina today, speaking at the state NAACP’s rally on the holiday to commemorate civil rights leader Martin Luther King.
Hillary Clinton was the only candidate Monday to discuss at length the Confederate flag that was removed from the capitol grounds last summer. She says South Carolina had to choose between honoring King’s legacy or the Confederacy and made the right choice.
Clinton also was the only person to mention the role of Republican Gov. Nikki Haley and the GOP-dominated Legislature in bringing down the rebel banner.
Bernie Sanders says King must be remembered as a dynamic figure who fought for the poor.
Martin O’Malley said King would be ashamed the county has made it harder to vote but easier to buy a gun.