GOP town hall: Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio weigh privacy, security


Welcome to Trail Guide, your host through the wilds of the 2016 presidential campaign. It’s Wednesday, Feb. 17, and here’s what we’re talking about:

  • Marco Rubio says at the town hall that a law won’t solve the fight between Silicon Valley and the government
  • But Ted Cruz says Apple should comply with an order to help in the San Bernardino investigation
  • Rubio’s view on intervention in Libya is more nuanced than he let on
  • In a competing town hall, Donald Trump promises a gun-rights litmus test for Supreme Court nominees
  • A new poll of Republicans nationwide has Cruz topping Trump
  • Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are seeking votes in rural Nevada -- a place where Democrats are rare
  • Young Latinos split from their parents to back Sanders over Clinton in Nevada

Ted Cruz isn’t visiting Cuba either

Sen. Ted Cruz said he would not visit the island nation of Cuba, as President Obama reportedly plans to do next month.

“Not as long as the Castros are in power,” Cruz, whose father is a Cuban immigrant, said during a GOP presidential candidates’ forum Wednesday in Greenville, S.C.

Obama normalized relations with Cuba last year. Sen. Marco Rubio, also of Cuban descent, said Wednesday that he would not visit the nation as long as it’s “not a free Cuba.”

Cruz said he was not surprised by Obama’s decision to visit, and that it was indicative of a broader failure in the president’s foreign policy.

“I was saddened to hear that; I wasn’t surprised,” Cruz said. “President Obama has consistently alienated and abandoned our friends.”


Ted Cruz blasts Donald Trump’s 9/11 comments

I thought it was ridiculous. I thought it was really painful.

— Ted Cruz, on Donald Trump’s remark that the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks happened on George W. Bush’s watch


Ted Cruz says Apple should comply with court order

Sen. Ted Cruz said Wednesday that Apple should comply with a court order to help investigators access encrypted data on a cellphone belonging to the couple who gunned down 14 people in the attack in San Bernardino in December.

“They have a binding search order,” Cruz said during a GOP presidential candidates’ town hall in Greenville, S.C. “I think we can walk and chew gun at the same time. We can protect ourselves from terrorists and protect our civil rights.”

Apple vowed to fight the order and said the FBI’s call for the company to help defeat security measures on a phone belonging to one of terrorists would be a major blow to customer privacy.

Cruz said he understands Apple’s concerns, but that he believes the company can look into the phone without jeopardizing every customer’s privacy.

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The night Ted Cruz sang on TV

Ted Cruz, who often sings sweet nothings to his wife, Heidi, over the phone, said they are “full and total partners.”

“She will be involved in a lot of things if we win,” Cruz said on CNN.

But what, exactly, does he sing to the former Goldman Sachs executive?

With that, the Texas senator broke into song: a made-up version of “Oh My Darling, Clementine” and the Stevie Wonder mainstay “I Just Called to Say I Love You.”


Marco Rubio: Football brings ‘inherent danger, but so does life’

Marco Rubio, who always wanted to play in the NFL rather than be a politician, said the life lessons taught by the sport are worth the potential health risks.

“Football has inherent dangers,” Rubio said during CNN’s town hall Wednesday featuring half the remaining Republican field. But he added: “I ultimately think football is an incredible sport. It teaches life lessons that are invaluable.”

Rubio, a Miami Dolphins fan who has two young sons and coaches youth football, said children are taught how to use other parts of their body -- rather than their heads -- for blocking.

The sport has come under criticism as National Football League players have suffered brain injuries. But Rubio said the sport also teaches youngsters “how to work alongside other people to fulfill a goal.”

“It’s a sport that brings inherent danger, but so does life,” he said.


Marco Rubio’s record on Libya intervention is more nuanced than he let on

Marco Rubio points to his five years as a senator as a key point on a national security resume that he believes makes him qualified to be commander in chief.

“No one running on the Republican side has better judgment or experience,” Rubio said during Wednesday’s town hall.

He also said that he warned in 2011 that Libya would be a failed state, pointing to the country’s dysfunction since the fall of Moammar Kadafi.

But his record is slightly more nuanced. In 2011, Rubio offered “full-throated support” for intervention in Libya if the U.S. played a role in regime change, according to the conservative Weekly Standard.

President Obama ultimately ordered U.S. airstrikes on Libya, and Kadafi’s regime fell after attacks by a NATO coalition.


Marco Rubio recalls experiencing racism during Mariel boat-lift

Sen. Marco Rubio recalled the racism he faced as a child as Cubans immigrated to the U.S. during the Mariel boat-lift of 1980.

“Some of the kids, the older kids, were taunting my family: ‘Why don’t you go back on your boat?’” Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, said during a GOP candidates forum Wednesday in South Carolina. “I said, ‘What boat? My mom doesn’t even swim.’”

Rubio said he was a 7-year-old living in Las Vegas when the Mariel boat-lift took place during an economic downturn in Cuba. As many as 125,000 Cubans in six months made the journey from Mariel Harbor in Cuba to Florida.

“I didn’t see it as a reflection on America; I saw it as a reflection on those kids,” Rubio said, adding that his parents, who immigrated to the U.S. from Cuba in 1956, raised him and his siblings to never believe they were victims.

“I don’t deny there are people in this country who have had a different experience and we need to recognize that,” he said.

Rubio noted “blemishes” on the record of race relations in the U.S. but also insisted that the country has progressed. He pointed out that he was endorsed earlier Wednesday by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who is of Indian descent, and that the following day, he’ll be campaigning with Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, who is black.

“All three says a lot about the Republican Party,” he said.

7:26 p.m.: This post was updated with information on when Rubio’s parents left Cuba.

7:15 p.m.: This post was updated with background on Rubio living in Las Vegas during the Mariel boat-lift.


Donald Trump promises a litmus test on gun rights for Supreme Court nominees

Donald Trump said Wednesday that he would not appoint anyone to the Supreme Court unless the nominee agreed to uphold a landmark 2008 ruling that recognized the right to bear arms.

“Will you make upholding the Heller decision a litmus test in Supreme Court nominees?” MSNBC anchor Joe Scarborough asked Trump in an hourlong town hall in South Carolina.

“Yes, I would,” Trump said, referring to the ruling by the late Justice Antonin Scalia in District of Columbia vs. Heller, which struck down restrictions on keeping guns in the home for self-defense.

“I give that commitment right now,” Trump added. “Absolutely. And I’ve been very strong. I’m a member of the NRA. My sons, Don and Eric, are members of the NRA for a long time. They’re hunters.”

Trump’s remarks came as rivals in the race for the Republican presidential nomination question his conservative credentials in the lead-up to the South Carolina primary on Saturday.

The New York billionaire described himself as a “common-sense conservative” who is tougher than his opponents on illegal immigration and military issues.

Mika Brzezinski, another MSNBC anchor, suggested that Trump sounded like a Democrat when he invoked the 9/11 attacks to challenge rival Jeb Bush’s contention that his brother George W. Bush kept America safe when he was president.

“I don’t think it’s Democrat,” Trump responded, before making the case that he can pick up a lot of support from Democrats and independents.

“If I get the nomination, I will have more crossover votes than anybody that’s ever run for office,” Trump said.

Trump’s appearance on MSNBC was simultaneous with a CNN town hall with Republican opponents Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Ben Carson. Trump will appear in another CNN town hall on Thursday.


No Cuba travel plans in Rubio’s future

Sen. Marco Rubio said Wednesday that he would not travel to Cuba, as President Obama reportedly plans to do next month.

“Not if it’s not a free Cuba,” said Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, in response to a question at a GOP candidates’ forum in Greenville, S.C. “The Cuban government remains as repressive as ever.”


Marco Rubio: New laws can’t fix encryption dilemma

Sen. Marco Rubio said the government and Silicon Valley must figure out together how to access crucial information to prevent terrorist attacks without endangering Americans’ privacy.

“It’s a very complicated issue,” Rubio told CNN’s Anderson Cooper during a GOP candidates’ forum in Greenville, S.C. “It protects your privacy. If you lose your iPad or your phone, no one can hack into it and get your information.... On the flip side of it, there might be valuable information on that phone ... that could lead us to preventing future attacks.”

Apple said Wednesday that it would not comply with a court order to help investigators access encrypted data on a cellphone belonging to the couple who gunned down 14 people in the attack in San Bernardino in December.

Rubio said that writing a new law requiring the creation of a backdoor to tap into a phone would result in a vulnerability that would be exploited by criminals. It would also be negated by encrypted software that already exists or will someday.

“There has to be a way to deal with this issue,” he said. “I don’t have a magic solution for it today … but I do know this: It will take a partnership between the technology industry and the government to solve this.”


Ben Carson says he would confront online attackers

Ben Carson called Wednesday for a public-private partnership to combat intellectual property theft by China, and said he would aggressively confront any country that breaches U.S. cybersecurity.

“We have some pretty substantial offensive cyber capabilities,” Carson said during a GOP presidential candidates’ forum on CNN. President Obama’s “administration is reluctant to use them. I would not be reluctant to use them.”

“People think that I’m nice, but I also want to protect our people,” Carson said. “If we stand up to the people doing these things, it makes them much less likely to continue.”

The issue is of particular importance to Hollywood in its fight against film piracy and intellectual property theft.


Obama has golf. Bill Clinton had the saxophone. Ben Carson plays pool.


Ben Carson calls for Apple to unlock San Bernardino attacker’s iPhone

Ben Carson was the first of three candidates to take part in a Republican town hall Wednesday night in Greenville, S.C. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz will also participate. The rest of the field will appear at a separate event Thursday.

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Ted Cruz immediately seizes on overtaking Donald Trump in new poll

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Jeb Bush rally turns into intervention

A campaign rally for GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush turned into an intervention Wednesday, with multiple members of the audience giving the former Florida governor advice on how to fix his campaign.

Voters normally grill candidates on policy, but people used Bush’s event at a golf course to offer conflicting suggestions on how to improve his chances in this state’s primary Saturday.

One man urged Bush to tell voters about how he privately met with a small group of veterans in Charleston before he launched his campaign and listened to their problems and took notes for three hours.

Another said he feared Donald Trump was riling Bush during the debate.

“Your message doesn’t resonate with the national community. … I was wondering because of your civility if you could raise the bar in the next session and try to be beyond the bully because I think that’s who you are and I think they try to knock you off-center. It appears you do get knocked off-center, like anyone would, because of the insults to your family.”

Bush replied that he was the only Republican calling out Trump.

“I don’t feel like I’m shaken up by the bullying,” he said. “Donald Trump is not a conservative and he’s not a steady hand for sure, and he’s not a servant. It’s all about him, and I’m the only guy going after him. I don’t feel he’s intimidating. He’s a bully. Punch him back in the nose.”

Another voter stood and said he agreed that Trump was riling Bush.

“The campaign has been co-opted by the P.T. Barnum of our times, and I think he’s getting you off your message, a good message,” he said. “I would encourage you to emphasize those things.”

Bush responded, “This is what I do. This is called campaigning.”

The final questioner professed his love for Bush’s brother, former President George W. Bush, before asking Bush, in a deeply Southern drawl, whether he could toughen his approach, only he put it a bit more profanely.

The audience dissolved into laughter, and Bush sounded amused.

“‘Will I be an S.O.B.?’ I think he said,” Bush said. Rather than answer, he went on to list the qualities that he believes make a strong leader.

“I will be tough. I will be resolute. I will be firm. I will be clear. I will be determined. That’s what leaders are,” he said, before turning to Trump. “It’s not strong to denigrate people. That’s a sign of deep weakness and insecurity. It’s not strong to disparage people. You can have fortitude and a backbone and do it in a way that’s not insulting people.”


Donald Trump loses his grip on the GOP lead in a national poll

(Matt Rourke / Associated Press)

For the first time in months, Donald Trump has lost the lead in a major national poll, falling behind Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

Trump took the lead in national GOP surveys in July, surpassing former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. He has dominated the race since then, except for a period in the fall during Ben Carson’s short boomlet.

But the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows a significant shift: Cruz has the backing of 28% of the Republican primary voters surveyed, with Trump at 26%. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, at 17%, Gov. John Kasich of Ohio at 11%, Carson at 10% and Bush at 4% round out the field.

Primaries, of course, are fought out state-by-state, not in a single national ballot. But Trump’s support in the states so far has largely mirrored his national standing. Moreover, his steady lead in polls has been a major feature of his stump speech.

Any individual poll could prove to be a fluke. But the NBC/Wall Street Journal survey, conducted by two longtime pollsters, Republican Bill McInturff and Peter Hart, a Democrat, is one of the most highly regarded in the field, so the results are likely to attract considerable attention.

“When you see a number this different, it means you might be right on top of a shift in the campaign. What you don’t know yet is if the change is going to take place or if it is a momentary ‘pause’ before the numbers snap back into place,” McInturff said in a statement announcing the results.

The poll also showed a decline, by nine points since January, in the share of GOP voters who can see themselves supporting Trump, down to 56% from 65%. In hypothetical head-to-head matchups, Trump would trail Cruz 56% to 40% and Rubio 57% to 41%, the survey found.

The survey has a margin of error of plus- or minus-4.9 percentage points.


Jeb Bush on losing the Nikki Haley endorsement


— Jeb Bush, in response to South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s endorsement of rival Republican candidate Marco Rubio. A day earlier, <a href=>Bush called Haley’s endorsement</a> “the most powerful, meaningful one in the state.”


Voices from Democrats -- a rare group -- in rural Nevada

I’m tired of it. I’m tired of the big corporations dictating what goes on in this country, and Bernie wants to end that. At least he’s speaking out forcefully against it.

— Jaynie Hughes, a 57-year-old bartender at Romero’s, a Mexican restaurant a few blocks from Route 160, is supporting Bernie Sanders in Saturday’s Democratic caucuses.

(Kurtis Lee / Los Angeles Times )

She has the chops to help get us jobs and work with Congress to get this minimum wage raised.

— William Blythe, 44, works odd jobs as an electrician, but since November has volunteered full time for Hillary Clinton in Pahrump.

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South Carolina governor endorses Rubio -- can she give him the bump he needs?

Nikki Haley, South Carolina’s popular governor, has been hinting for weeks that she was eager to see anyone but Donald Trump win the GOP nomination.

She’s apparently making official her preference for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, an establishment favorite. Polls show Rubio locked in a tight race for second place with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the state’s primary Saturday.

Haley’s endorsement might have most effect on Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who are vying with Rubio to consolidate establishment support.


Democrats chase votes in Nevada’s rural outposts, far beyond Las Vegas’ glamour

(Kurtis Lee / Los Angeles Times)

Along pothole-pocked Route 160, campaign signs for Hillary Clinton appear every few miles, erected among gravel and weeds beneath towering billboards for fireworks and R.V. resorts.

Such support for a Democrat is unusual in this community known for its deep conservatism, where residents sometimes shop at Wal-Mart with pistols holstered to their hips.

“Talking politics — especially if you’re a Democrat — ain’t wise out here,” Cliff Arnold, chairman of the Nye County Democratic Party, said as he sipped coffee on a recent morning at the Pahrump Nugget, a dank casino frequented by retirees who sit in cushioned seats and play 5-cent slot machines most weekdays. “But we’re here and so are the candidates.”

The presidential campaigns of Clinton and her rival for the Democratic nomination, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, have filtered out far beyond Las Vegas’ glitzy casino core to woo rural voters who will carry an outsized influence in Saturday’s Nevada caucuses because of the way the party allocates precinct delegates.

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Another poll shows Donald Trump’s resiliency -- and GOP voters’ anger at their congressional leaders

The evidence keeps stacking up that Donald Trump’s controversial debate performance on Saturday night has not dented his poll support in South Carolina.

A Monmouth University poll of Republican voters conducted Saturday through Tuesday showed Trump ahead of the GOP field, with 35% of the vote, about where he has been in other polls.

Following Trump were Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (19%), Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (17%), Ohio Gov. John Kasich (9%), former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (8%) and retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson (7%).

Note that the race for second place appears tight, and that Bush does not appear to be gaining the support he needs to remain viable.

More than half of voters (54%) in the survey said they want someone outside of government as their next president, compared with only a third who prefer government experience (33%).

Polls this election season have shown that Republicans remain startlingly dissatisfied with their congressional leaders, who control both the House and the Senate. In the Monmouth poll, 63% said they were somewhat or very dissatisfied with GOP congressional leaders.

A Trump voter in South Carolina said Tuesday his supporters are “voting with our middle finger.”

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Rubio blasts Cruz, charging political expediency and dirty politics

Sen. Marco Rubio on Wednesday accused rival Sen. Ted Cruz of changing his position on defense spending in an act of political expediency to align himself with voters in South Carolina, which has a large military presence.

“He’s very weak on national security,” Rubio told reporters after a rally here. “He’s got a big issue he has to answer for. Now that he’s in South Carolina, he wants to be about a strong national defense, but that’s not his record.”

Cruz on Tuesday unveiled a plan to expand the military and build thousands of planes and ships.

Rubio pointed to Cruz’s Senate votes against defense budget authorization bills that funded pay raises for the troops, as well as his support for a budget proposed by Sen. Rand Paul that would have decreased military spending.

“Ted Cruz voted for a budget that would cut” defense spending, Rubio told hundreds of supporters at a rally here. “I am not cutting defense spending when I am president. It is the most important thing the federal government does. When I am president, we are rebuilding the U.S. military. And this is not a position that I suddenly discovered 24 hours ago because I realized ‘Oh, I am in South Carolina. There are a lot of veterans and military people here. Let me be for growing the military after I voted against it three times.’”

Rubio also accused Cruz of playing dirty politics and misstating his position on Planned Parenthood funding and same-sex marriage. And he pointed to a Facebook post being circulated among South Carolinians that inaccurately claims that Rep. Trey Gowdy had dropped his endorsement of Rubio in favor of Cruz.

“Ted unfortunately has proven that he’s willing to say or do anything to get elected,” Rubio said.


Ted Cruz to Donald Trump: If you don’t like my ad, sue me

It’s game on for the social conservative vote in South Carolina.

With Ted Cruz far behind Donald Trump in new polling, the Texas senator is hitting the billionaire hard over his past support for abortion.

Cruz says in a new ad that Trump can’t be trusted to make a Supreme Court pick that will be conservative enough.

Trump has threatened legal action, to which Cruz responded Wednesday: Bring it on.

“Mr. Trump, you have been threatening frivolous lawsuits for your entire adult life,” Cruz said at a midday news conference in Seneca.

“If you want to file a lawsuit challenging this ad, claiming it is defamation, file the lawsuit.”

In the ad, Cruz relies on a Trump television interview in which the celebrity front-runner says he would not ban partial-birth abortion.

“I am pro-choice in every respect,” Trump said at the time.

Trump responded earlier in the week saying he had “evolved” on the abortion issue. And he issued a statement calling Cruz “a totally unstable individual. He is the single biggest liar I’ve ever come across,”

“Cruz says I am pro-choice, when in fact I am staunchly pro-life and have been for a long time,” Trump said. “Like Ronald Reagan, on many issues, I have evolved.”

Trump also threatened to file suit over the Canadian-born Cruz’s eligibility to be president.


A pronounced debate in Nevada

It could be worse. One of the names debated during the statehood argument was ‘Esmerelda.’ 

— Michael Green, University of Nevada historian, on sensitivities surrounding pronunciation of the state’s name. It’s NEV-a-duh, not Nev-AH-duh


Watch an alternate universe where Donald Trump seeks advice from the dads of ‘Full House’

Jimmy Fallon and “The Tonight Show” know what people want: more “Fuller House” and more Donald Trump. Tuesday night’s show featured a sketch featuring just that, including the entire cast of the upcoming Netflix series and Fallon playing the Donald himself.

Fallon gives a pretty impressive portrayal of the Republican presidential candidate throughout the sketch, which centers around a disheartened Trump turning to his “three dads” for comfort in the face of a beleaguered campaign. Terrified to be branded a “loser,” Trump asks for support from Bob Saget, Dave Coulier and John Stamos, all reprising their roles from “Full House.”

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Ad for John Kasich features Newt Gingrich, who won the S.C. primary 4 years ago

A super-PAC supporting John Kasich is using Newt Gingrich, the winner of the South Carolina primary four years ago, to lend a hand in a new ad Wednesday.

Kasich is under attack by a pro-Jeb Bush group as the two candidates fight over many of the same pro-military, moderate conservative voters.

Gingrich praises Kasich’s record of support for military funding when both served in Congress.

The ad includes a man covered in mud, and calls on Bush backers to stop “throwing mud.”


Donald Trump on the Iraq war

It’s one of the worst decisions in the history of our country.

— Donald Trump at a town hall in South Carolina


Could a Trump win in South Carolina lead to a brokered convention?

With Donald Trump showing no signs of slipping in South Carolina, one former Republican Party leader said Wednesday that a win by the billionaire in the Palmetto State may lead to a brokered convention.

“Trump’s going to win,” said Scott Malyreck, the party’s former executive director, who is not backing any candidate, on MSNBC. “Do we see a winnowing of the field? Maybe. Maybe no.”

“Maybe there’s a brokered convention,” Malyreck said, suggesting a faceoff between the “Trump folks” and the “anti-Trump folks.”

Party leaders nationally have downplayed the potential for such an outcome this summer in Ohio, but others are clearly considering it.


Planned Parenthood launches push for Clinton in Nevada

Planned Parenthood’s political arm began an aggressive push for Hillary Clinton’s campaign in what is shaping up as a tight race in Nevada.

The organization launched TV spots just days before Saturday’s caucuses in the state, urging voters to side with a candidate who has a record of supporting women.

Planned Parenthood’s support of Clinton is a notable break from its longstanding tradition of not endorsing in primaries, and appears to reflect its anxiety about the general election and a lineup of Republican candidates who oppose abortion rights and funding for the health services the group provides.

“Hillary Clinton is a champion for women’s health care,” a woman says in one ad. “That’s why Planned Parenthood Action Fund has endorsed her.”

Clinton’s rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who won significant support among young women in Iowa and New Hampshire, has criticized Clinton’s endorsement from Planned Parenthood. He called it a predictable move of the party establishment.

But after the endorsement Sanders did start mentioning his own support for Planned Parenthood.


Donald Trump calls Obama’s criticism a ‘compliment’

Donald Trump responded to President Obama’s criticism of his campaign Tuesday with relative restraint, saying only that Obama had done a “lousy job as president” and that he would have defeated him in 2012 had he run.

“For him to say that is actually a great compliment,” Trump argued at an event in South Carolina.

Though he referred specifically to Trump, Obama also took care to warn about all of the GOP candidates while speaking at a news conference in Rancho Mirage.

“Not a single one of them” is talking about some of the world’s biggest problems, he said.

The words represented Obama’s most energetic criticism of the Republicans running to replace him. For months, he has mostly kept a studied distance from the fray and resisted invitations to engage in political analysis.

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Republican Party denies stacking the audience at Saturday’s debate

Boos from the audience during Saturday’s Republican debate didn’t come from people on the party’s payrolls or donor lists, the Republican National Committee said Tuesday after front-runner Donald Trump accused the RNC of selling tickets to donors, lobbyists and special interest groups to pack the crowd with his opponents.

RNC chief operating officer Sean Cairncross denied Trump’s claims.

“There is a wide variety of potential reasons behind crowd reaction: The upcoming South Carolina primary is very important; issue differences between the candidates are becoming more sharply drawn; and agreement/disagreement with statements made by the candidates on stage,” Cairncross wrote in a statement Tuesday. “It’s difficult to say with any certainty.”

He said that the campaigns themselves received 642 of the 1,600 tickets to the debate, and the rest went to the Republican Party and debate host CBS News. Such a significant number of tickets going to Trump’s rivals for the nomination probably contributed to the boos, he noted.

Trump expressed his frustration in an interview with Fox News and again hinted at a possible third-party run.

“I’m very upset with the RNC because every single time we have a debate they have it stacked with special interests and donors and lobbyists,” Trump said on Fox Business Network. “I’m self-funding my campaign. I’m not taking special interest money. I’m not taking lobbyist money.”

Trump repeatedly claims to be self-funding his campaign, and though he largely is, he received about $6.4 million from donors last year, according to PolitiFact.


For Latino voters in Nevada, Clinton vs. Sanders is a generational question

Rep. Raul M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), right, introduces Bernie Sanders at a rally in Las Vegas on Feb. 14.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Last year, Nevada college student Ivan Soto was one of about 800,000 Latinos in the United States who turned 18 and became eligible to vote.

He and other millennials — those born in the 1980s and 1990s — make up nearly half of all eligible Latino voters and are increasingly seen as crucial to unlocking the Latino vote.

A fervent Bernie Sanders supporter who learned about the Vermont senator’s campaign on Reddit and through Google searches, Soto reflects a growing generational divide in the Latino community that mirrors divisions in the wider electorate: Although many young Latinos are flocking to the Sanders campaign, many of their parents are backing Hillary Clinton.

“The leadership that is older is all Clinton, but the younger Latinos, they’re with Sanders,” said Antonio Gonzalez, president of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, whose organization has been working in Nevada ahead of the state’s Democratic caucus on Saturday.

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