To the editor: If the stakes weren't so high, I might find the battle of the brainless versus the robot mildly entertaining. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) suggests that Donald Trump may have wet his pants during the most recent Republican presidential debate, and Trump fires back that Rubio was putting on makeup with a trowel. ("It's Marco Rubio's turn to take Trump down," Opinion, Feb. 28
Rubio and his people now realize that the only way to stop Trump is to get down into the gutter with him. Both candidates are throwing red meat to their respective supporters, but very few minds will be changed by this senseless and demeaning behavior.
Hillary Clinton is sharpening her claws, probably recording every Trump trashing and Rubio ridicule to use against whomever she faces in the general election.
Henry A. Lowenstein, New York
To the editor: It doesn't make any difference whether Rubio, Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) becomes the nominee. Any Republican will lose, because the more the party makes Hispanics, Muslims, blacks and gays feel like second-class citizens, and the more they oppose women's right to choose, the more determined these groups will become in their efforts against it.
Republicans apparently did not learn from the 2012 election that their future depends on trying to include all groups of Americans in their party, regardless of gender or ethnicity. Right-wing extremism will only make the party irrelevant.
Phyllis Landis, Oceanside
To the editor: While it might seem that Rubio's decision to resort to personal attacks on Trump is a savvy strategy adjustment, he is missing the biggest opportunity. It's the area in between policies and personality that is the key to getting the race turned around.
Rubio should challenge Trump on his knowledge of the issues, not on his record in business.
The senator would be wise during a debate to ask Trump to outline the differences between Shiites and Sunnis, for example. I doubt Trump could even fake his way through an answer. He would have to resort again to yelling.
Hopefully, the voting public will begin to see through the facade in time to avoid the critical error of believing Trump can be a winning nominee for the party in the general election, or anything remotely close to an effective president in the off chance that he could actually defeat Clinton.
Bob Cunningham, Riverside