Sunday, 21 February 2016

Donald Trump wins South Carolina Republican presidential primary

The piggish voters of South Carolina gobbled up the slop that Donald Trump served up Saturday — handing the bloodthirsty billionaire his second straight Republican presidential primary win.


Trump’s victory in the Palmetto State follows the orange-hued mogul’s first-place finish in New Hampshire and capped a dizzying stretch in which he called rivals liars, tangled with Pope Francis, and retold a discredited story about a U.S. general shooting Muslims with bullets dipped in pigs’ blood.

Just another typical week in the life of the candidate who can drop one outrageous bombshell after another and not lose a drop of momentum.

“There’s nothing easy about running for president, I can tell you. It’s tough, it’s mean, it’s nasty, it’s vicious … it’s beautiful,” Trump said in his victory speech.

No Republican in recent times has won New Hampshire and South Carolina and then failed to win the nomination.

With 99.7% of South Carolina precincts reporting, Trump had 32.5% of the vote, followed by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio with 22.5% and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz with 22.3%.
“I also want to congratulate the other candidates — in particular, Ted and Marco did a pretty good job, I understand,” Trump said.

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, one of Trump’s favorite targets throughout the campaign, announced he was dropping out of the race after finishing fourth.

“The presidency is bigger than any one person. It is certainly bigger than any one candidate,” an emotional Bush said.

Bush thanked his mother, former First Lady Barbara Bush, his older brother, former President George W. Bush, and his father, former President George H.W. Bush, whom he described as “the greatest man I have ever met.”

The Associated Press called the race around 7:30 p.m., about a half hour after the polls closed, prompting a maniacal reaction from Trump’s supporters.
“There’s nothing easy about running for president, I can tell you. It’s tough, it’s mean, it’s nasty, it’s vicious … it’s beautiful,” Donald Trump said in his victory speech.
They handed out high-fives and held signs above their heads as they celebrated at a watch party at the Spartanburg Marriott.

Some chanted “USA! USA!” The fanatics snacked on cheese and crudité, and sipped beers from plastic cups.
Ted Cruz, along with his daughters, prepares to speak to supporters in the South Carolina primary.
In a rare campaign appearance, Trump’s Slovenian-born wife Melania Trump addressed the rowdy crowd. “He will be the best president,” the former model said.

The victory was another sign that the conventional rules of politics don’t apply to Trump.

The brash mogul was backed by nearly 40% of those polled as angry at the federal government, and a third of those who felt betrayed by politicians in the Republican Party, according to the Associated Press.


“I don’t like politicians,” said Jim Jaruszewicz, a 37-year-old radiology technician who voted for Trump. “I don’t trust politicians.”

Trump was as anti-establishment as ever Saturday night, denouncing TV pundits for saying that if his remaining opponents consolidated around one of his rivals, there would be enough anti-Trump votes to beat him.
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush announced he was dropping out of the race after finishing fourth.
“These geniuses,” he said. “They don’t understand that as people drop out, I’m going to get a lot of those votes also. You don’t just add them together.”

Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich each garnered about 8% of the vote and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson came in last with 7%.

Exit polls taken in South Carolina found that about three-quarters of Republican voters support a temporary ban on Muslims who are not American citizens from entering the U.S., one of Trump’s more radical proposals on the campaign trail.

The political outsider, whose controversial comments about Mexican immigrants, women, and critics in general have been denounced throughout the campaign, added more controversial statements to that list a day before the primary.

An Islamic civil rights group condemned Trump’s telling of a discredited story about a U.S. general shooting Muslims with bullets dipped in pigs’ blood — fearing the candidate could incite violence.

Nihad Awad, the Council on American-Islamic Relations national executive director, said Saturday in a statement that Trump’s “inflammatory rhetoric has crossed the line from spreading hatred to inciting violence.”

But the hate-filled campaign speeches only endeared Trump to South Carolina voters.

Cruz, who topped Trump in the Iowa caucuses, said that his was “the only campaign that has beaten and can beat Donald Trump.”

He added that his win at the beginning of the month was why Donald Trump “relentlessly attacks us and ignores the other candidates.”

The remaining candidates will face off again Tuesday in the Republican Nevada caucus, ahead of Super Tuesday on March 1, when delegates in 11 states are at stake.

Rubio’s 2nd place finish was a positive sign for the rookie senator. He had been hoping for a strong showing in South Carolina with the help of endorsements from prominent state lawmakers, including Gov. Nikki Haley and Sen. Tim Scott.

“This has become a three-person race,” Rubio declared.

Kasich, who finished second to Trump in New Hampshire, acknowledged he was an underdog in the state and turned his focus north.

Kasich was not in South Carolina Saturday, appearing instead at events in Vermont and Massachusetts.

“While others were making their last stand in South Carolina, John Kasich strengthened his organization and support — despite being outspent by tens of millions of dollars,” Kasich strategist John Weaver said in a statement. New York Daily News

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